Physical Therapy after UCL Repair in Kansas City
UCL Repair: Physical Therapy in Kansas City.
Many baseball players or athletes who do a lot of throwing may experience medial elbow pain. Over time, this repetitive use can cause small tears within the ligament. This pain is due to overuse and over stretching of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in the elbow. When placed on too much load, the UCL can tear, causing pain and a loss of function with throwing. To continue playing at a high level, many athletes will receive a UCL repair followed by a course of physical therapy.
UCL Repair Symptoms
Pain and Symptoms prior to UCL repair surgery may include:
- Pain on the inside of the elbow along the ulnar collateral ligament
- Feelings of instability on the medial side of the elbow
- Numbness into the small finger and ring finger
- Difficulty throwing a ball or other object.
- After surgery you can expect to have swelling and pain in the medial elbow and decreased ability to bend elbow and pick up objects for a period of time depending on surgeon protocols.
Treatments for UCL Repair
Physical therapy treatment after a UCL repair surgery in Kansas City can include restoration of range of motion at the elbow and wrist, soft tissue therapy to the surrounding area, and exercises for stretching and strengthening. Rehab for a UCL Repair takes nearly a year to recover fully, and sometimes up to 2 years. For the first couple of weeks, the patient will wear a brace or a restriction device to protect the surgical site. Once the brace is removed, regaining range of motion and strength is next. It will be about 4 to 5 months after surgery before you can get into throwing again, due to the graft being fragile. Around 9 months after surgery, if there have been no adverse effects, throwing at competition-speed pain free is the next phase.
Our Treatment Process
The physical therapists at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic utilize a variety of soft tissue treatments such as A.R.T., Graston, and Dry Needling to restore the proper motion, texture, and tightness to the muscles, fascia, ligaments, nerves, and tendons to eliminate the patient’s pain and musculoskeletal dysfunction.
We accompany these soft tissue treatments with case-specific exercises for full rehabilitation and to ensure a lasting recovery. Our providers will work with you to reach the goals that are important to you and tailor exercises that are specific to your needs and your sport.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is tommy john surgery?
Tommy John's surgery is named for the pitcher and is a surgery that is often needed as a result of throwing injuries. The surgery involves repair of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL repair) that sits on the inside of the elbow.
Can you provide a UCL elbow sleeve?
No, we cannot provide a UCL elbow sleeve. However, we can recommend one for you!
Can a physical therapist help with ulnar collateral ligament problems?
Yes, our physical therapists are well versed in treating UCL injuries and providing post-operative care following any necessary UCL surgery.
Tell us about your pain.
Take a couple of minutes to tell us about your symptoms and pain areas. Prefer to chat over the phone? Call us for a free phone consultation.
Visit your local F.I.T. Physical Therapist
Meet the team at any of our 5 locations: Lee’s Summit, Crossroads, Blue Valley, Overland Park & Shawnee.