PRP and Elbow Ligament Injuries
The ulnar collateral ligament is located on the inner side of your elbow. It is the ligament that is under the most strain during the pitching motion. As a result of this, many throwers suffer from injuries to their ulnar ( or medial) collateral ligament as a results of overuse. Injuries to the ligaments can be partial or complete. Many injuries can be prevented in the first place by obeying pitch counts. Even with proper supervision, pediatric ulnar collateral ligament injuries can occur. In pitchers with a complete ligament tear, who wanted to remain active on the mound, a medial collateral ligament reconstruction, or Tommy John procedure is “necessary” to restore stability to the elbow and allow for a safe return to pitching. More commonly, pitchers experience partial tears of the ulnar collateral ligament. Frequently, these are painful enough to prevent the pitcher from returning to their full capabilities. In the past, if your young pitcher failed to recover and return to their full capabilities surgery was an option to reconstruct this partially torn ligament.
Is your young pitcher suffering from pain on the inner side of their elbow during the throwing motion? Have they have this pain for a long period of time? Children with ulnar collateral ligament injuries will complain of pain during the throwing motion as their arm is coming forward. They will lose velocity and they will not be able to throw as many innings as they used to. Some children recall feeling a pop or snap… those are acute, complete tears. Some children do not feel a pop, but instead note the pain in the inner side of their elbow one day — and it recurs each and every time they try to return to pitching.
At a recent American Academy of orthopedic surgeons meeting a paper was presented which demonstrated that a single PRP, or platelet rich plasma injection lead to good results in the vast majority of adolescents with partial medial collateral ligament injuries – – – and allowed many to return to the pitching mound without surgery.
If you feel your child is suffering from an ulnar collateral or medical collateral inury of the elbow, especially if you live in Westchester or Dutchess Counties in NY …
Feel free to call us for an appointment… 914.789.2735