UCL Injury in the Non-throwing Athlete

  • Nicholas RamosEmail author
  • Orr Limpisvasti
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

Primarily reported in the overhead throwing athlete, ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries have been extensively studied since Dr. Frank Jobe first described his technique for ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction on professional baseball pitcher Tommy John. While the framework for our understanding of UCL injury was initially established studying the repetitive valgus loading of the throwers’ elbow, other sport-related activities in non-throwing athletes can impart similar valgus stress on the medial elbow placing the UCL at risk for injury. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the current literature on UCL injury specifically in the non-throwing athlete.

Recent Findings

In the four decades since Dr. Jobe’s seminal description of UCL reconstruction, an abundance of literature has been published on UCL injury in the throwing athlete. The evidence evaluating the UCL specifically in the non-throwing athlete, however, is quite scarce. Several small retrospective studies have demonstrated good results with high rates of return to play with focused rehabilitation and non-operative management in non-throwing athletes. Recent evidence has also demonstrated that surgical repair and/or reconstruction of the UCL in this population can produce good outcomes.


The level of evidence of these published studies is low and consists primarily of case series without control groups. Further investigation is warranted to determine the optimal treatment algorithm for UCL injury in the non-throwing athlete.


Ulnar collateral ligament injury Non-throwing athlete Non-operative treatment Ulnar collateral ligament repair Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Nicholas Ramos and Orr Limpisvasti declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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.Kerlan Jobe InstituteLos AngelesUSA

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