Keywords: Elbow, dislocation, instability (PubMed Search)
Ulnar Collateral ligament injuries of the elbow
Overhead throwing athletes are at risk of insufficiency and rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the elbow
This can lead to valgus instability similar to what can occur in the knee
Overhead throwing places a significant valgus stress on the elbow
Though classically seen in baseball pitchers, may also be seen in javelin throwers and other high velocity throwing sports
In the acute setting may be seen after an elbow dislocation
History includes a “pop” and medial elbow pain following throwing activities
In cases of overuse injury, athletes will report a progressive loss of velocity, accuracy, and/or endurance with throwing.
The ulnar collateral ligament is the primary restraint to valgus stress from 30 to 120 degrees of flexion
One classic test for UCL instability is the milking maneuver
Patient may be sitting or standing
Patient’s forearm is supinated and elbow flexed at 90 degrees
A valgus force is applied by pulling the patient’s thumb while the examiner’s other hand stabilizes the elbow and palpates the medial joint line.
Instability, pain or apprehension at the UCL is considered a positive test