The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is the primary restraint to valgus angulation at the elbow. Injury to the UCL is increasingly common and can lead to instability, especially in athletes involved in overhead throwing. Conventional treatment is reconstruction using tendon autograft but performance levels are often restricted after long periods of rehabilitation. Modern surgical techniques have led to renewed interest in repair of the ligament, with the aim of restoring native anatomy. This has the benefit of retained proprioception and no graft harvest morbidity. Furthermore, augmentation of the repair with an Internal Brace protects the healing ligament, while allowing early rehabilitation and accelerated return to play. Here we present the first patient treated with this technique who achieved excellent recovery with return to college level American Football after 4 months. Five years later he has good elbow function and plays at the same level.
- elbow instability
- sports and exercise medicine
- orthopaedic and trauma surgery
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Patient consent for publication Obtained.
Contributors WTW was involved in design, data collection and writing of report. GPH was involved in design and editing of report. PAB was involved in editing report. GMM was senior supervisor and helped with data collection and editing.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests GMM is a consultant for Arthrex (see attached COI form).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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