The medial ulnar collateral ligament injury is an injury to the ligament that is located on the inner side of the elbow. This ligament connects the humerus to the ulna. The medial ulnar collateral ligament can become stretched, or torn through the stress of repetitive motions, which can cause pain, weakness and a feeling of instability in the arm.
This ligament is often injured in throwing types of sports, such as baseball or javelin, and contact sports, including football and rugby. It also occurs following elbow dislocation or surgery. For example, the motions involved in throwing a baseball may put stress on the ligament, eventually causing inflammation, tears and in severe cases, ruptures.
Symptoms typically include pain and discomfort on the inner side of the elbow, especially when trying to throw. Additional symptoms include swelling and bruising at the site of injury, numbness or tingling sensations in the hand, elbow stiffness (the inability to throw), and weakness of hand grip. An X-ray or MRI scan may be required to confirm diagnosis. Treatment depends upon the severity of the injury. Typical remedies include rest, anti-inflammatory medications, cold compresses, physical therapy and the use of a brace to stabilize the elbow. Severe tears or ruptures may require surgery.