Sports-related Injuries of the Elbow

Article in Journal of Hand Therapy · April 2006


 Sports-related injuries about the elbow occur commonly and are often managed by a wide variety of health care providers. It is particularly important that a surgeon well versed in arthroscopy, reconstructive trauma, and peripheral nerve techniques evaluates potentially complex injuries. It is equally imperative that the preoperative care regimen and postoperative management be conducted by an experienced therapist who understands elbow biomechanics and function. Acute pathology, such as fracture or severe ligamentous and tendinous injury, usually warrants operative treatment. A thorough understanding of the anatomy and biomechanics of the elbow is crucial since the expected recovery in the nonathlete will not suffice for the competitive athlete. Demanding activities, such as the overhead-throwing motion cycle, require a much more complete recovery than simple return to activities of daily living. Chronic elbow problems in the athlete can often be managed with appropriate therapy and modification to the training protocol. Poor response to conservative means should lead to a more thorough evaluation by an experienced elbow surgeon as these injuries can often be career ending. The spectrum of commonly seen lesions in the athlete’s elbow is described here, as are conservative care measures, operative treatments, and postoperative management.


tennis player
Badia Hand to Shoulder Center

Cite this article: Badia, Alejandro & Stennett, Charleen. (2006). Sports-related Injuries of the Elbow. Journal of hand therapy : official journal of the American Society of Hand Therapists. 19. 206-26. 10.1197/j.jht.2006.02.006.