Elbow surgery to reconstruct a torn ulnar collateral ligament UCL is a common procedure performed on athletes who engage in overhead throwing activities, such as baseball, tennis and volleyball, and gymnastics.
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In these activities, the UCL can be stretched, torn or otherwise damaged from the constant stress of overhead motion. To mend a torn UCL, a damaged ligament in the elbow is surgically replaced with a tendon from somewhere else in the body, such as a hamstring or forearm.
A nontraumatic UCL tear should be treated with rest followed by a rehabilitation program for about six months before surgical intervention is considered. While surgery aims to restore elbow stability and enable the athlete to return to his or her sport as soon as possible, recovery can often take as long as a year.
Shoulder and Elbow Injuries in Athletes
Thus, it is critical to involve physical therapists early in the recovery process. An individually designed rehabilitation program will likely include.
Most athletes who follow a formal physical therapy rehabilitation program can expect to attain their previous full ROM. As rehabilitation progresses, we will gradually increase the strength-training exercises with heavier weights and exercises that use all parts of the arm.
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Return to sport following elbow surgery. - Semantic Scholar
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