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Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2018 Mar;11(1):48-54. doi: 10.1007/s12178-018-9458-3.

Nonreconstruction Options for Treating Medial Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injuries of the Elbow in Overhead Athletes.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.
Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.



This review aims to describe the nonreconstructive options for treating ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries ranging from nonoperative measures, including physical therapy and biologic injections, to ligament repair with and without augmentation.


Nonoperative options for UCL injuries include guided physical therapy and biologic augmentation with platelet-rich plasma (PRP). In some patients, repair of the UCL has shown promising return to sport rates by using modern suture and suture anchor techniques. Proximal avulsion injuries have shown the best results after repair. Currently, there is growing interest in augmentation of UCL repair with an internal brace. The treatment of UCL injuries involves complex decision making. UCL reconstruction remains the gold standard for attritional injuries and complete tears, which occur commonly in professional athletes. However, nonreconstructive options have shown promising results for simple avulsion or partial thickness UCL injuries. Future research comparing reconstructive versus nonreconstructive options is necessary.


Augmentation; Platelet-rich plasma; Repair; Ulnar collateral ligament

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