Repetitive overhead throwing imparts high valgus and extension loads to the athlete's elbow, often leading to either acute or chronic injury or progressive structural change. Tensile force is applied to the medial stabilizing structures with compression on the lateral compartment and shear stress posteriorly. Common injuries encountered in the throwing elbow include ulnar collateral ligament tears, ulnar neuritis, flexor-pronator muscle strain or tendinitis, medial epicondyle apophysitis or avulsion, valgus extension overload syndrome with olecranon osteophytes, olecranon stress fractures, osteochondritis dissecans of the capitellum, and loose bodies. Knowledge of the anatomy and function of the elbow complex, along with an understanding of throwing biomechanics, is imperative to properly diagnose and treat the throwing athlete. Recent advantages in arthroscopic surgical techniques and ligament reconstruction in the elbow have improved the prognosis for return to competition for the highly motivated athlete. However, continued overhead throwing often results in subsequent injury and symptom recurrence in the competitive athlete.





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