Decades of Experience Treating Patients with UCL Sprains
Our board-certified sports medicine physicians at University Hospitals have assisted countless patients get back to the sports and activities they enjoy after ulnar collateral ligament, or UCL, sprains. We treat each patient as an individual and design treatment plans that are tailored to their unique health goals. With a history of excellence in patient care, cutting-edge research and education, our team has an unfailing commitment to clinical expertise for any musculoskeletal condition.
The ulnar collateral ligament is located on the inside of the elbow and connects the upper arm bone, called the humerus, to the forearm bone, called the ulna.
Repetitive motion and overuse by athletes and other individuals may cause the ligament to stretch to the point where it tears and is unable to hold the bones together. When this occurs, it results in a UCL sprain.
Treatments to Restore Elbow Stability
UCL sprains may be treated with conservative treatments such as rest, ice application, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles for joint stability.
If conservative treatments are ineffective, Tommy John surgery for UCL injury may be necessary. The goal of Tommy John surgery is to restore medical stability to the elbow so you can return to daily and athletic activities without elbow pain.
Tommy John Surgery Expertise for Improved Recovery
Our sports medicine doctors at University Hospitals perform Tommy John UCL surgery often – and with the skill needed for improved recovery. Using a tendon graft from your forearm, hamstring, foot or knee, our specialists ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction mends the ligament and then reattaches it to your bone for improved movement and function.
Following Tommy John surgery, your shoulder and arm are generally stabilized with a sling. Comprehensive rehabilitation with sports physical therapists will be required to increase range of motion and strengthen the entire arm. While some patients may be able to resume normal activities within twelve months after the procedure, athletes may require a longer recovery period.
Tommy John surgery was named after a Los Angeles Dodger pitcher, Tommy John who was the first individual to undergo a surgical procedure for a UCL sprain in 1974. The surgery allowed Tommy John to fully recover from his UCL sprain and continue his successful career as a professional baseball player. Our team of orthopedic and sports medicine specialists at University Hospitals are well skilled in both diagnosing and treating athletes of any age and skill level, including the highest performance of professional athletes.