The Ulnar Collateral Ligament is a band of ligaments that connects the upper arm bone (humerus) to the lower arm bone (ulna). These soft tissue structures stabilize the elbow joint and allow a person to perform overhead arm movements such as playing tennis or throwing a ball. An ulnar collateral Injury occurs due to stretching, loosening or tearing of these ligaments. The condition may result in physical limitations and is a common injury observed in sportspersons.

Ulnar Collateral Ligament damage does not occur due to stress form daily activities as this type of damage requires a considerable amount of force that exceeds the threshold of the ligaments to cause lengthening or tears. This injury has a high incidence of re-occurring post treatment.


  • Overuse injuries caused by repeated overhead movement such as playing volleyball or basketball
  • Inherent weakness of the muscles and ligaments
  • Improper throwing techniques
  • Not warming up before indulging in a sport
  • Elbow Dislocations
  • The ligaments may be damaged due to surgical procedures applied on the elbow joint or the upper arm


  • Pain in the elbow joint and the arm, which may increase while performing tasks that require lifting the hands or arms above the head
  • Swelling and tenderness in the inner side of the elbow joint or the upper arm
  • Limited range of motion
  • A tingling sensation in the arm and inner side of the elbow
  • Weakness in the elbow joint
  • Numbness in the fingers (particularly little finger) and hand
  • Loss of grip
  • A popping sound at the time of injury
  • Stiffness
  • Change in color of the fingernails


  • Analysis of the existing symptoms reported by the patient
  • MRI scan may be required to view the ligaments
  • The doctor may use palpation and pressure to identify the exact location of pain


  • The patient may be recommended to take rest and abstain from any physical activities that cause pain
  • Physical therapy with special focus on ROM (range of motion) exercises may be recommended to accelerate recovery
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed by the doctor
  • Ice packs may be applied to ease pain and swelling
  • Protective splint or elbow brace may be recommended
  • In case of a complete tear, surgery may be suggested. It will aim at reconstructing the ligament and removing the damaged parts, if any
  • It may also be advised to avoid arm movements that aggravate pain or increase the risk of injury

The surgeons at OrthoTexas offer complete treatment for Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injury. To schedule an appointment, call 972-492-1334.