Hand & Wrist Center of Houston Home If you suspect broken bones, dislocated joints, lacerated tendons, lacerated nerves, infection, or have an open wound below the elbow, then call us immediately.
 
ELBOW LIGAMENTS


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

The elbow is primarily a hinge joint that bends (flexes) and straightens (extends). Forearm rotational movement (palm up – palm down) also involves the elbow and has a relationship to elbow stability. The elbow joint is stabilized by two main ligaments: the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the lateral ulnar collateral ligament (LUCL). These ligaments are both very strong. It requires major force to rupture them, which usually occurs during specific trauma events. Sometimes the damage happens over time as in baseball pitchers that throw millions of pitches until eventually the medial collateral ligament “pops” during a particularly forceful throw.

MEDICAL HISTORY

The details of the specific trauma event are important to understand the types of forces that supposedly produced the injury and the direction of those forces. If the forces involved do not appear to be enough to have caused a ligament rupture by themselves, other factors that may have predisposed the ligament to already be weak must be sought out. The nature of the patient’s lifestyle and work are taken into account when selecting treatment options.

EXAMINATION

If the trauma was recent, the location of tenderness and swelling help to localize the ligament injury. If the ligament rupture was a long time ago, these signs are usually absent. The doctor will attempt to perform a manual test of the ligament’s stability, but an awake patient can easily react with muscle spasm in the arm, making it difficult to be sure if the ligament is really unstable or not. Sometimes, the final determination of the ligament’s stability is not made until the patient is examined under anesthesia.

ADDITIONAL TESTS: Basic x-rays should be performed to assess for any abnormalities in the bone structure of the elbow joint, but basic x-rays do not give direct information about ligaments. Advanced imaging studies such as a magnetic resonance (MR) arthrogram can be used to provide more information about ligament rupture. These studies are evolving in their technology, but current accuracy levels still leave a fair degree of uncertainty regarding ligament status.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

  NON-SURGICAL LIGAMENT RECONSTRUCTION
CONSISTS OF Muscle strengthening exercises Surgically creating a new ligament to replace the torn one
FEATURES Goal is to compensate for the unstable ligament New ligament made from an expendable tendon taken out of the forearm
ADVANTAGES Avoids surgery; A low demand patient may be satisfied enough Creates an actual ligament that can stand up to heavy demands
DISADVANTAGES Joint is not actually made stable; insufficient treatment for an athlete or heavy work Tendon tissue is 10 times less elastic than ligament tissue; Elbow can become stiff after surgery

RECOVERY

Open reconstructive surgery of the elbow can easily lead to stiffness. A carefully designed rehabilitation program must be followed to both promote early motion and ensure that the new ligament is not pulled apart while it heals. In the first 6 weeks after surgery, the patient will follow a protected motion program. Then he / she will pursue unlimited motion followed by a gradual strengthening program. High force strengthening is not allowed until after 3 months of ligament healing. Complex multi-directional motions of the arm such as those used in ball-throwing sports are not permitted until after 6 months of initial rehabilitation.
 
 
 
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  • some of the most friendly staff and the doctor always explained the information in a manner in which I could understand which always made it very helpful. will definitely recommend this location to family and friends. - 05/31/17
  • I have enjoyed this facility and Dr. Henry has been more than helplful. All questions answered, as well as answers I didn't even know I had! The staff is always helpful. - 03/03/17
  • I gained full confidence in Dr. Henry and his staff as I progressed through my recovery. - 03/28/17
  • thank you for helping me - 02/03/17
  • Had a wonderful experience overall. Breaking my arm was tough but the staff here was always very, kind and helpful. Especially Dr. Henry, Mary, Karen, Luis, Joel, Teresa and David. I'll miss them all but hopeful won't have to see them any time soon :)Thank you! - 05/04/17
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  • Dr. Henry was very informative about the treatment and staff was pleasant. - 01/11/18
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  • The entire team at the Hand and Wrist Center is outstanding. They made the recovery so smooth and comforting from the courteous receptionists, excellent occupational therapist, attentive medical assistants, and brilliant doctor. Thank you! - 03/31/17
  • Staff is always friendly and helpful. I will definitely recommend this office. Dr. Henry is a very skilled surgeon and went out of his way to make sure I understood my procedure and the rehabilitation process. - 03/24/17
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  • I have enjoyed this facility and Dr. Henry has been more than helplful. All questions answered, as well as answers I didn't even know I had! The staff is always helpful. - 03/03/17
  • Dr. Mark Henry is a true healer; the finest most competent doctor I've ever encountered. I am forever grateful to Dr. Henry and the entire staff for saving my finger and facilitating my complete recovery with grace and seriousness of intent. Thank you. - 01/10/18
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  • no complaints hand is coming along very well - 11/06/17
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  • Thank you! - 03/08/17
  • FIRST CLASS!!!!!!!!!! - 03/03/17
  • Very knowledgeable about the possible procedures the could be preformed! Dr. Henry is a very honest person and I appreciate that in a man more than anything. He gave me truth and not what I wanted to hear! Thanks - 04/04/17
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  • Dr Henry is a wonderful Dr. and I would highly recommend to others - 02/07/17
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  • Doctor Henry was awesome! And Luis was very helpful and nice! - 03/20/17
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  • Very happy I came here for the surgery, etc. - 06/09/17
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  • Great Doctor and staff. Luis is a wonderful asset to the staff - 12/18/17
  • This was my last visit and I'll miss y'all. - 03/29/17
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  • best place for treatment of hand and wrist problems. Dr. Henry was recommended to me by a friend who is a medical care professional. - 10/06/17
  • everything HAS BEEN GREAT AND HEALING WELL WITH ALMOST FULL MOTION IN LESS THAN 5 WEEKS. tHANKS dr hENRY - 03/03/17
  • Luis was great as well. - 01/04/17
  • The staffs here was GREAT!!!! - 06/21/17
  • thank you - 02/09/17
  • I have loved coming here and felt very welcomed by everyone! Thank you so much for all you do! - 03/10/17










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