Posts Tagged "ulnar collateral ligament"

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Strasburg’s Predictable Tear

images-322 year-old Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg was placed on the disabled list last week for the second time in his brief major league career after suffering what was termed a “significant tear” of the ulnar (medial) collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow. He had exited a game early only days before, with what was reportedly flexor tendinitis in his right forearm.

Team officials have been quoted as saying that Strasburg’s newest injury likely occurred during one particular pitch. Were the two injuries related? Was the earlier injury a warning sign? For the record, it should be noted that stress to the medial (inner) compartment of the elbow – a common problem for pitchers – can impact not only the UCL, but can also create inflammatory conditions in all of the structures that occupy this region. These include…

Thumb’s Down: The UCL Sprain

thumb_sprainWhat is the UCL (Ulnar Collateral Ligament) of the Thumb?

A ligament is the connective tissue connecting one bone to another to provide stability at a joint. Each joint has at least one ligament on each side. In the hand or elbow, the inner (medial) side, or side of the ulna bone in the forearm, is called the ulnar side, and the outer (lateral) side is called the radial side because of its relationship to the radius (the outer bone in the forearm). Hence, at the base of the thumb, just as at the elbow, the ligament stabilizing the innermost part of the joint is called the ulnar collateral (UCL). A pitcher who injures the UCL at the elbow is a candidate for Tommy John surgery.

Significant injury to a ligament will permanently diminish stability at the joint it protects.

UCL Rules Of Thumb

imagesA ligament is the connective tissue connecting one bone to another to provide stability at a joint. Each joint has at least one ligament on each side. In the hand or elbow, the inner (medial) side, or side of the ulna bone in the forearm, is called the ulnar side and the outer (lateral) side is called the radial side because of its relationship to the radius (the outer bone in the forearm). Hence, at the base of the thumb, just as at the elbow, the ligament stabilizing the innermost part of the joint is called the ulnar collateral (UCL).

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