Elbow Ligamentous Sprain

Elbow Ligamentous Sprain

According to my Injury classification system, elbow sprains is considered Level 3 Injury, as per the three structures compromised, the alignment, muscles/tendon, and the ligaments. There are several ligaments that are found in the elbow and due to the anatomical proximity and concomitant injuries that occurs, I have decided to summarise them together. Elbow sprains tends to cause significant pain and inflammation as per the number of tissues being damage and compromised from the trauma. Morning stiffness and reduced joint overall movement are common symptoms reported by patients.


Common elbow misalignments dysfunction seen with different types of ligamentous Sprains

Radial Collateral and Annular Ligamentous Sprain – Radial Head Misalignment

Ulnar Collateral Sprain – Proximal Ulna Misalignment with medial wedge pattern

Elbow Chronic Instability is a condition that is predisposed by the presence of chronic ligamentous injuries which leads to a deformation of the elastic properties of the ligaments resulting in compromised bone apposition causing the overall instability

Is important to note that for the ligament to become injured, the previous defence mechanism have to have failed to allow the biomechanical stress to damage the ligament, therefore, the treatment care must aim to restore the health of the entire elbow protective structures.


Assessment Protocol

The entire upper extremity biomechanical chain must be evaluated as per the neurological and mechanical influences of the spine, shoulder, and hand.

Clinical assessment to identify the key joint dysfunctions of the elbow that have contributed to this condition. Soft tissue analysis to pinpoint the level of irritation in the ligaments.


Anterior – Posterior (AP) and Lateral X-ray Elbow views are essential to analyse the level and direction of the different patterns of misalignments


Elbow MRI is essential for visualizing the extent of injury on the muscle/tendon and ligamentous layers.

Locate the exact injury point; Allows the treatment to be more specific during the application of the treatment modalities

Identify the extent of tissue damage and the presence of scar tissue; Provides valuable information regarding prognosis and the application of friction soft tissue modalities to aid on scar tissue removal.


Treatment protocol

Specific elbow adjustments followed by a rehabilitation regime to strengthen the entire soft tissue support of the elbow. In addition, application of tape and may be needed as part of the early rehab program.

Application of Low-level Laser and PEMF to aid on the cellular level of heling as well as improving the microcirculation for the area.

Friction soft tissue therapy helps to reduce dysfunctional scar tissue

Specific selected essential oil application to enhance healing

Depending on level of misalignment and chronicity  a minimum of 6 weeks up to 12 weeks of treatment care may be necessary to resolve this deformity.

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