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UCL Surgery

If you’ve recently been thinking that your elbow isn’t up to snuff, due to throwing issues, it could be time to see a physician. Thankfully, an elbow issue such as a UCL injury doesn’t need to limit what you’re able to do forever. UCL surgery, which often also called Tommy John surgery, repairs an injured elbow ligament. Though it is commonly done on college and pro athletes, especially in the baseball world, it can be performed on other people as well.

During Tommy John surgery, a surgeon removes the injured UCL and replaces it with a tendon taken from somewhere else in the patient’s body.

Other types of surgery for repairing the UCL have also been developed, and your physician may recommend a different procedure to help repair your UCL.

How UCL Injuries Develop

The UCL is located on the inside of the elbow. It connects the bone of the upper arm (humerus) to a bone in the forearm (ulna). Almost anyone can develop a UCL injury from repetitive stress or even trauma to the elbow. But, if you play sports and throw often, you’re at more of a risk of developing a UCL injury. This is because the throwing motion twists and bends the elbow, which puts the ligament through extreme stress.

Over time, the UCL may develop tiny or large tears. The ligament can stretch and lengthen to where it can’t hold the bones tightly enough during throwing activities.
Most UCL injuries occur in baseball players. But other sports are sometimes linked to UCL injuries. Common sports involving UCL injuries include:
● javelin throw
● tennis
● football
● wrestling
● cheerleading
● gymnastics
● soccer
● softball

Diagnosis of UCL Injuries

Sometimes, a doctor can diagnose a UCL injury through just looking at your history and performing a physical examination. Diagnostic tests may include:
● X-rays
● MRI
● MRI after gadolinium dye has been injected into the elbow

Because these tests are not 100% accurate, it can be difficult to diagnose a UCL injury. We can help by taking a look. If you have more questions, please get in touch with us today by calling (928) 537-6381.

Posted in: Joint Replacement

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