Ulnar ligament injuries, common in overhead throwing athletes, range from mild inflammation to complete tears. Our fellowship-trained, board-certified specialists accurately diagnose and create customized treatment plans, including rest, NSAIDs, immobilization, and physical therapy. For severe cases, our experts perform Tommy John surgery, ensuring a comprehensive recovery process.
The elbow is a hinge joint. The humerus (arm bone), radius (large forearm bone), and ulna (small forearm bone) join to form the elbow joint. Ligaments hold the bones together. The ulnar ligament is a ligament on the lateral (outside) part of the elbow.
The ulnar ligament is susceptible to injury. A great deal of stress is placed on the ulnar ligament when throwing motions are performed. Overhead throwing athletes are most at risk to sustain an ulnar ligament injury. An injury can range from mild inflammation and irritation to a complete tear.
Pain is the most common symptom of an ulnar ligament injury. Pain usually gets worse when an object is gripped or a fist is made. Swelling and bruising are symptoms of a complete tear. Decreased range of motion and decreased performance are common.
Our specialists diagnose and treat ulnar ligament injuries. All specialists are fellowship trained and board-certified. An elbow examination reveals injury severity. An MRI may be ordered if a tear is suspected. A customized treatment plan is prescribed after an accurate diagnosis is made.
Nonsurgical treatment options treat mild to moderate injuries. A combination of treatment options is prescribed. Any of the following may be included in an OIBO specialist’s customized treatment plan:
Surgery is usually used to treat complete tears. Tommy John surgery removes the torn ligament and replaces it with a graft, usually one of the patient’s tendons. A splint is worn after surgery. Physical therapy is a very important part of recovery. Our specialists are Tommy John surgery experts.