Return to Sport After Nonoperative Management of Medial Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injuries About the Elbow in Non-throwing Athletes


There is a paucity of literature published on management of acute medial ulnar collateral ligament injuries in the non-throwing athlete and when these athletes may expect to safely return to sport. Non-overhead throwing athletes that sustained medial ulnar collateral ligament (MUCL) injuries treated conservatively with brace immobilization and therapy can successfully return to sport in a relatively short duration. A radiographic query of Magnetic Resonance Images (MRIs) was performed to identify patients sustaining elbow MUCL injury. Only those participating as intercollegiate athletes were included. Medical charts and documents were reviewed to determine time away from sport and rehabilitation protocol. A total of 17 patient-athletes were identified as having sustained MUCL injuries that met inclusion criteria. There was a 100% return to sport rate, averaging 5 weeks from date of injury. Non-overhead throwing athletes competing at the intercollegiate level who sustained acute MUCL injury were effectively treated nonoperatively. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 30(3):136–139, 2021)

Key words: medial ulnar collateral ligament (MUCL), college athletes, nonoperative, return to sport, non-throwing

Ian A. Mullikin, MD; Richard Robins, MD; Jonathan Jackson, MD; and Mark Slabaugh, MD