Approach to Medial Elbow Pain in the Throwing Athlete

  • L. Pearce McCartyIIIEmail author
Injuries in Overhead Athletes (J Dines and C Camp, section editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Injuries in Overhead Athletes


Purpose of Review

Injury to the ulnar collateral ligament is the most common, significant injury affecting the medial elbow of the overhead athlete. However, there are many other significant sources of pathology that should be considered. This review seeks to present a broad range of conditions that providers should consider when evaluating the overhead athlete with medial elbow pain.

Recent Findings

Recent biomechanical studies have deepened understanding of the anatomy and function of the anterior bundle of the ulnar collateral ligament germane to the overhead athlete. Orthobiologics hold potential for expanding the role of non-operative treatment for ulnar collateral ligament injuries.


In addition to injury to the ulnar collateral ligament, providers should be prepared to diagnose and treat valgus extension overload, proximal olecranon stress fracture, ulnar nerve pathology, common flexor - pronator mass injury, and, in adolescents, medial epicondylar avulsion, when managing medial elbow pain in the overhead athlete.


Medial elbow pain Throwers Ulnar collateral ligament 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

L. Pearce McCarty has received consulting fees and speaker honorarium from Anthrex Inc. and is a principle investigator in an industry sponsored study funded by Biomet.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sports & Orthopaedic Specialists, part of Allina HealthEdinaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryAbbott Northwestern HospitalMinneapolisUSA

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