Diseases & Conditions, 2002 Clin Sports Med. The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis using a tendon from the arm or leg to repair the UCL. [Medline]. The actual tear is often felt as a ‘pop’ and you are usually unable to continue activity after it occurs. Depending on the severity of your case, your surgeon will either treat it conservatively or surgically. DeFroda SF, Kriz PK, Hall AM, Zurakowski D, Fadale PD. A chronic UCL injury occurs over time as repetitive movements cause micro-tears or a rupture. Hechtman KS, Tjin-A-Tsoi EW, Zvijac JE, Uribe JW, Latta LL. [Medline]. [Medline]. Throwing injuries. Symptoms of a UCL injury include pain on the inside of the elbow while throwing a ball in a sport such as baseball, or weakness, tingling, or numbness around your pinky or ring fingers. [Medline]. A UCL injury is classified as a sprain and graded from grade 1 to 3. 41(7):1689-94. 2002 Diseases & Conditions, 2002 Risk Stratification for Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injury in Major League Baseball Players: A Retrospective Study From 2007 to 2014. Morrey BF, Regan WD. The UCL is composed of 3 bands: anterior, posterior, and transverse. 84-A(4):525-31.  Of 9 pitchers who had elbow injuries, 4 had an elbow muscle strain and/or joint inflammation, and 5 had an ulnar collateral ligament sprain or tear. The UCL is rarely stressed in daily activities. An understanding of the anatomy and biomechanics of the elbow in throwing sports is essential to the correct diagnosis and treatment of this potentially disabling injury. While many people can be treated with conservative methods, surgery may be required. Rijke AM, Goitz HT, McCue FC, Andrews JR, Berr SS. During this phase, the forearm lags behind the upper arm and generates valgus stress while the elbow is primarily dependent on the anterior band of the UCL for stability. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders Co; 1994. An acute UCL injury is caused by a sudden incident that causes the ligament to tear. Clin Sports Med. This can then lead to chronic pain and valgus instability. [Medline]. Pain as the arm is accelerating forward to throw an object. In a first-degree sprain, the ligament is not lengthened but is painful. Sasaki J, Takahara M, Ogino T, et al. Sprains are classified into three grades. Am J Sports Med. Bowers AL, Dines JS, Dines DM, Altchek DW. While UCL injuries affect your ability to participate in your sport, it is not likely to affect your daily routine that does not require throwing. [Full Text]. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 19(2 suppl):110-7. The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the elbow is critical for valgus stability of the elbow and is the primary elbow stabilizer. The acceleration phase of the overhead throw causes the greatest amount of valgus stress to the elbow. 38(3):575-80. J Bone Joint Surg Am. In the athlete, ligamentous injury can also be heralded by an acute traumatic event such as an elbow dislocation. If you log out, you will be required to enter your username and password the next time you visit. DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. Clin Sports Med. Sports Medicine for the Primary Care Physician. Clin Sports Med. The operation is called Tommy John's surgery. Clin Sports Med. Goren D, Budoff JE, Hipp JA. 87169-overview Halpern BC. Grade 2 sprains — The ligament is stretched, and it could be partially torn. 1995. Enforce strict pitch counts if throwing over 85 mph. Radiology. [Medline]. Robert F Kacprowicz, MD, FAAEM Private Practice 1994 Jan-Feb. 22(1):26-31; discussion 32. [Medline]. Conservative treatments for a UCL injury include: When the ligament is completely torn off the bone or pain persists after conservative treatment; surgery may be necessary to repair or reconstruct the tear. Robert F Kacprowicz, MD, FAAEM is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency MedicineDisclosure: Nothing to disclose. Dines JS, Elattrache NS, Conway JE, Smith W, Ahmad CS. Gibson BW, Webner D, Huffman GR, Sennett BJ. Grana WA, Boscardin JB, Schneider HJ, et al. Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles around the elbow. It is the best way to assess the UCL. With a third-degree sprain, the ligament is torn and does not function. 1999 Jan. 30(1):81-9. Maloney MD, Mohr KJ, el Attrache NS. 1999 Oct. 18(4):795-809. https://profreg.medscape.com/px/getpracticeprofile.do?method=getProfessionalProfile&urlCache=aHR0cHM6Ly9lbWVkaWNpbmUubWVkc2NhcGUuY29tL2FydGljbGUvOTc0NTEtb3ZlcnZpZXc=.