What Ligaments are in the Elbow?

The ligaments in the elbow help to keep it in place during activities and to prevent too much movement in the joint.  They also relay feedback to the muscles in the elbow.  The three ligaments are:

  • The ulnar collateral ligament
  • The radial collateral ligament
  • The annular ligament

Injuries to the ligaments in the elbow are most often found in the ulnar collateral ligament.

  • Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL)– runs from the medial (inner) side of the humerus to the ulna
  • Radial collateral ligament -found on the side of the radius which strengthens the side of the wall of the joint capsule of the elbow
  • Annular ligament – encompasses the head of the radius and is attached to the humerus – allows the radius to rotate

UCL injuries can often be found in baseball pitchers and overhead throwers. Injuries to the annular ligament are often not sports-related, but rather when the elbow has limited use such as after a fracture or an elbow surgery.

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