Ulnar collateral ligament injury in an overhead or throwing athlete often requires surgical treatment in order to allow the athlete to return to their sport. Because the ulnar collateral ligament has a limited blood supply, it cannot simply be sutured or repaired in order to restore stability to the elbow.
Ulnar collateral ligament surgery requires reconstruction of the ligament utilizing a graft from another part of your body (autograft). This graft is typically obtained through several small incisions without affecting the function of that part of the body. The graft is then placed through small bone tunnels at the site of the ulnar collateral ligament in order to restore the ligament. If the adjacent nerve is injured, any scar tissue around that nerve may be removed. If the adjacent muscles and tendons are damaged, they will also be repaired during the procedure.