Ligament injuries in the elbow can be serious. Some happen with a sudden injury like a fall on the arm causing an elbow dislocation, while other ligament injuries can occur in sports that overuse and repeatedly stress the elbow like baseball, softball, and other throwing sports. Ligament injuries should be carefully evaluated, and many respond well to non-surgical treatments. If you have injured an elbow ligament like the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), we are happy to see you and discuss treatment options to help you return to normal activities.
Elbow ligament Injuries
Because Portland is an active community and a lot of baseball and other sports like disc golf are played, many people participate in sports that involve throwing movements. Whether its baseball or ultimate frisbee, these movements place added stress on the elbow. While most throwing related injuries improve with rest or at least relative rest, at times, the injury can be a more severe ligament tear.
Ligaments are strong fibrous tissue that attach bones to other bones and in children and adolescents the ligament can sometimes place added stress on immature bone at the growth plate resulting in a growth plate injury where the ligament attaches.
It is important to stop painful activity and make an appointment to be seen in a sports medicine clinic for an evaluation if you suspect the elbow pain you are experiencing is sports or throwing related.
A sports injury doctor can carefully assess the muscles, bones, and ligaments of the elbow including the ulnar collateral ligament which is commonly injured in adolescents and young adults.
Specific exam techniques and imaging such as musculoskeletal ultrasound and MRI can help the sports medicine specialist identify ligament injury, instability, and accurately diagnose the problem and help you improve while avoiding additional injury.