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Elbow & Wrist

Lateral Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction

If your lateral ulnar collateral ligament (LUCL) has suffered damage as the result of dislocating your elbow, you may lose your range of movement and stability in the joint. The LUCL is the main ligament stabilizer on the outside of the elbow. The usual cause of the ligament becoming stretched or torn is dislocation, although elbow injuries can occur from repetitive activities such as sports.

In most cases, the LUCL repairs naturally, and the patient will not experience problems throughout the elbow’s range of movement. However, when the LUCL remains loose, the patient may experience problems with the elbow not staying in place. The result is a joint that slides out of place during activities like pushing out of a chair or opening doors.

Physiotherapy can help to strengthen the muscles around the elbow when the LUCL remains loose after an injury. Reconstruction of the LUCL is the most effective treatment option. At Silicon Valley Orthopaedics, Dr. Nic Gay or Dr. Masi Reynolds will consult with you to create an individualized treatment plan.

Effective Recovery from LUCL Injury

Reconstruction of the LUCL results in better outcomes when repairs are carried out within a few weeks after an accident or injury. Dr. Nic Gay and Dr. Masi Reynolds may opt to use a tendon from another part of the body to repair the damage to the LUCL.

After reconstruction, the elbow may need support with a splint for approximately ten days. Controlled motion is then started before moving on to unrestricted movement at around six weeks post-surgery. The type of activities you engage in, whether for work or leisure, are taken into account when considering recovery. You may be able to return to full activities after 4-6 months, depending on a number of lifestyle factors.

If you would like to know more about the benefits of lateral ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, reach out to Silicon Valley Orthopaedics today.