In Your Ballpark – Pitcher’s Elbow

If you’ve ever joined in and sang a few words of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” then you have probably heard the term ‘pitcher’s elbow.’ “The reason baseball players are at a higher risk of elbow injuries is that of the overhand throwing motion putting continual significant stress on the elbow, ” says Fort Worth Orthopedic Surgeon Michael Boothby, “the stress is compounded from overuse as they perform the same motion over and over”. You can also put similar stress on the elbow from the repeated motion of a golf swing or the strong serve on a tennis court.

This common injury for the throwing arm causes pain that runs from the inside of the elbow to the wrist. Although some activities can cause it, it is best known for its infamous occurrence among ballplayers. Sadly, the diagnosis has caused many to have to take a long hiatus from a sport they loved, and in some cases, the end to a great career in the sport.

There is one particular ligament in the elbow, the ulnar collateral ligament, or UCL; that causes it to be so vulnerable. With throwing athletes, this ligament is put under significant stress. The UCL’s purpose is to stabilize the elbow, its muscles, nerves, and tendons during throwing. When the UCL is overstressed, athletes will experience pitcher’s elbow.

Pitcher Elbow Pain Is Caused By:

  • Bone spurs
  • Stress fractures of the elbow
  • A tear or inflammation of the UCL
  • Damage to the tendons of the elbow

Elbow injuries such as pitcher’s elbow occur from overuse. The injury will sneak up on you if you’re not careful. The stress on your elbow will start with minor irritations and then can develop into a complete injury.

It’s important to be mindful of how much you are using your elbow. If you are having even minor symptoms such as a little bit pain or occasional swelling, don’t ignore them. They could be a sign that trouble is brewing in your body. Make the time for a visit to your board-certified orthopedic surgeon.

Take the time now to keep you off the bench and in the game that you love.

Fort Worth Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Boothby is a highly respected member of the orthopedic community. Dr. Boothby is Board Certified and Medical Director of The Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute. Dr. Boothby has been named Top10MD for three years in a row. Only 1 in 3 doctors succeed with this recognition in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Boothby link to his profile or call 817-529- 1900 today.