Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction; the Rush Experience


      To report the patient demographics, surgical techniques, and outcomes of all UCLR performed at a single institution from 2004-2014


      The surgical database of one institution was searched from January 1st 2004-December 31st 2014 for the current procedural terminology (CPT) code 24346 “Reconstruction medial collateral ligament, elbow, with tendon graft (includes harvesting of graft)”. Charts were reviewed to determine patient age, gender, date of surgery, sport played, athletic level, surgical technique, graft type, and complications were recorded. Patients were contacted via phone calls to obtain the return to sport rate, Conway-Jobe score, Timmerman & Andrews score, and Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic (KJOC) Shoulder and Elbow score.


      One hundred eighty-nine patients underwent UCLR during the study period (92% male, average age 19.6 +/- 4.9 years, 77.8% were right elbows). There were 166 baseball players (87.8% of all patients), 156 of which were pitchers (82.5% of all patients). Ninety-eight (51.6%) were college athletes, 62 (36%) were high school athletes, and 25 (13.2%) were professional athletes at the time of surgery. The docking technique was used in 111 (58.7%) patients while the double docking technique was used in 78 (41.3%). An ipsilateral palmaris longus graft was used in 111 (58.7%) of patients while a hamstring autograft was used in 48 (25.4%) patients. The ulnar nerve was subcutaneously transposed in 79 (41.8%) patients. Overall 95.7% of patients were able to return to sport and had a Conway-Jobe score of good/excellent while 4.3% had a score of fair. The average KJOC score was 94.7 +/- 5.7 and average Timmerman-Andrews score was 93.7 +/- 7.7. Subsequent surgeries were performed in 5.8% of patients.


      Overall 95.7% of patients who underwent UCLR were able to return to sport with an average KJOC score of 94.7 and Timmerman Andrews Score of 93.7.