Valgus laxity of the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow in collegiate athletes.
In this investigation, we determined the patterns of valgus laxity and acquired valgus laxity of the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbows of collegiate athletes involved in overhead and nonoverhead sports. Acquired valgus laxity of the elbow is defined as the differential amount of stress valgus opening between the dominant and nondominant elbows. Forty-eight asymptomatic male athletes involved in sports that require overhead arm movements (baseball, tennis, and swimming) and 88 asymptomatic male athletes involved in nonoverhead sports (track, lacrosse, fencing, and wrestling) underwent fluoroscan examination of both their elbows with (13 daN) and without (0 N) valgus stress. There were no statistically significant differences in the amount of valgus stress opening or in acquired valgus laxity between the two groups. In fact, 25% (34 of 136) of the athletes showed an acquired valgus laxity of more than 0.5 mm, and 51.5% (70 of 136) had an acquired valgus laxity that was actually negative. There was also no correlation between the number of years played and acquired valgus laxity. Our results show that acquired valgus laxity does not exist in asymptomatic athletes involved in overhead sports, and there is no threshold value of measurement indicative of acquired valgus laxity.
Singh, H; Osbahr, DC; Wickham, MQ; Kirkendall, DT; Speer, KP
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