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Throwing Injuries

An athlete uses an overhand throw to achieve greater speed and distance. Repeated throwing in sports such as baseball and basketball can place a lot of stress on the joints of the arm, and lead to weakening and ultimately, injury to the structures in the elbow. These overuse injuries may include:

  • Inflammation or tears of the ulnar collateral ligaments (supportive tissue that supports the elbow joint).
  • Inflammation of the flexor tendons (tissue connecting muscles of the forearm to the upper arm bone) at the inner side of the elbow.
  • Wearing of cartilage (spongy protective tissue lining bones in a joint) over the olecranon (pointed elbow bone) and development of abnormal bony growths (bone spurs).
  • Tiny cracks (stress fractures) of the olecranon.
  • Irritation of the ulnar nerve.

Symptoms of Throwing Injuries

Throwing injuries can produce pain, numbness, tingling, and reduction in the throwing velocity.

Diagnosis of Throwing Injuries

When you present with symptoms of a throwing injury, your doctor will review your medical history, discuss your athletic activities and perform a thorough physical examination to examine the strength, range of motion, and stability of your elbow. Imaging tests (X-ray, MRI, and CT scans) may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of Throwing Injuries

Your doctor may suggest a conservative approach to treatment such as rest, ice application, physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and a modification of activity and throwing technique. If symptoms remain uncontrolled surgery may be performed to repair the injured tissues either through open surgery or a less invasive technique (arthroscopy) where a camera and instruments are inserted through a narrow tube. Surgery may be performed to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament and relocate the ulnar nerve to the front of the elbow. Four to six weeks of rehabilitation is recommended following surgery to prevent stiffness and improve strength and range of motion. Your doctor will discuss when it safe for you to return to your activities based on the injury and how well you recover.

  • NHS
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • 
British Elbow & Shoulder Society
  • University of Warwick
  • Swor and D

Hospitals Attended

  • Stratford Hospital

    South Warwickshire
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Arden St, Stratford-upon-Avon,
    CV37 6NX
    Driving Directions


    Ext 4798
  • Nuffield Health
    Warwickshire Hospital

    The Chase, Old Milverton Lane
    Leamington Spa
    CV32 6RW
    Driving Directions


  • Warwick Hospital

    South Warwickshire
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Lakin Road, Warwick,
    CV34 5BW
    Driving Directions


    Ext 4798
  • The Grafton Suite,
    Building One

    Stratford Hospital, Arden Street
    Stratford-upon-Avon
    CV37 6NX
    Driving Directions


  • South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nuffield Health
  • 
The Grafton Suite - South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust