elbow collateral ligament injury

Dealing with elbow collateral ligament injury

Fact Checked

Elbow collateral ligament injury is common among athletes. Generally, the ligament is found in the inside or medial part of the elbow or the small finger side of the arm. It connects bone together and control movements of the joints. It functions for the stability of the elbow.

Elbow movements that cause bending and twisting of the elbow such as javelin throwing, throwing of a baseball, ice hockey and racquet sports results to excessive stressing of the elbow. Furthermore, this condition can also happen to non athlete people such as falling on an outstretched arm or strong twisting of the arm and cause tearing of the ligaments of the elbow.

Symptoms of ulnar collateral ligament tear

  • At first, bruising at interior elbow after the injury
  • Pain, tenderness and swelling of the affected elbow
    elbow collateral ligament injury
    Stiffness or incapable of making the elbow straight.
  • Weakened grip or numbness and tingling sensations in the fingers.
  • Stiffness or incapable of making the elbow straight
  • Severe elbow pain
  • A popping sound can be heard when moving the elbow
  • Incapable of throwing normally
  • Tingling or numbness sensations that spreads down the ring and the small fingers
  • A sense of looseness or instability of the elbow
  • Incapable of performing regular activities such as lifting small objects or carrying something by the hand.


  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected elbow. Avoid performing activities that cause pain in the area for fast healing of the condition.
  • Apply ice using an ice pack. Wrap the ice pack using a towel or a cloth before placing to the area for at least 10-15 minutes to lessen the bleeding, the swelling and the inflammation on the first 48 hours after the injury. The coldness will numb the skin and lessen the pain. Another alternative is soaking a clean washcloth in cool water, and then wrap it around the pack of ice and place on the area is also good for the condition.
  • Compress the area using an elastic bandage. It gives gentle pressure on the tissue around the affected area. It also supports the affected area, lessen the swelling and for proper flow of blood in the area. Do not wrap too tightly to prevent problems with circulations. Take off the bandages at least 2 times every day. Rest the area for a few minutes and then wrap it again.
  • Elevate the affected elbow above the heart to lessen the swelling of the area and increase flow of blood. When resting, prop the area in couple of pillows to keep it in a raised position.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications to reduce the inflammation and the pain.
  • When pain subsides perform gentle exercises with the help of the physical therapist for some strengthening exercises around the affected joint of the elbow, restore range of movement of the elbow and lessen the pain.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on elbow collateral ligament injury is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the indications and how it is managed by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.





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