Post by herewegoagain on Apr 7, 2010 11:46:49 GMT -6
I have a 15 year-old pitcher (DI recruit) diagnosed with a mild ulnar collateral ligament sprain. Pain started in October at a showcase tournament but she didn't tell us until January. Her only complaint was slight pain at one very specific point of her pitch. She never lost velocity or control and once she was completely warmed up it stopped hurting. MRI revealed slight edema around ulnar collateral ligament but no tear or apparent laxity (MRI was read by dr in our area that deals with our professional team's pitchers). She is 9 weeks into rest and PT, and at times I actually think things have gotten worse. When she stopped pitching, she got swelling in her elbow along with clicking and grinding and constant pain. That all went away after the 3rd week of rest but now it aches throughout the forearm and elbow. Nobody is willing to tell us if this is normal for a UCL sprain or if something else might be going on. We asked PT if we should get a 2nd opinion (BTW her ortho is on pitching staff with our professional team) or even another diagnostic test and we were told she didn't need it. Are her symptoms normal for UCL sprain?
Post by Matt Pollack, M.D. on Apr 22, 2010 14:09:48 GMT -6
*** This is posted under your other post as well. *****
Sorry to hear about your daughter's injury. With a UCL sprain we will often hold athlete out of pitching/throwing and have them begin physical therapy to work on their ROM/strength and help control their pain. After about 6 weeks pain free we will often begin them in something called an Interval Throwing Program which is a controlled, progressive throwing program that is designed to ease a player back into throwing. The pain (shoulder or elbow) in young throwing athletes is often just secondary to overuse and the rest/rehab is often enough to allow the injured body part to calm down. As to the reason for the increased pain after resting the arm I can't give you a great explanation unless there were other "non-throwing" activities that she was still doing that were aggravating the elbow. Of note, the Interval Throwing Program is a 2 part program with the athlete completing the "fielder's" portion first and then the pitching program afterwards. Your daughter would be ok to begin playing a fielding position after the first part, but would need to be held out of pitching longer until she had successfully completed the "pitching" portion of the throwing program. I hope that this helps.