Optimizing the Rehabilitation of Elbow Lateral Collateral Ligament Injuries

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https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/3634; https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5237&context=etd
Manocha, Ranita Harpreet Kaur
elbow; posterolateral rotatory instability; rehabilitation; range of motion; orthosis; brace; Biomechanical Engineering; Medical Biophysics; Occupational Therapy; Orthopedics; Orthotics and Prosthetics; Physical Therapy; Sports Medicine
article description
Elbow lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injuries frequently arise following trauma, and can result in disabling instability. Typically such injuries are managed with immobilization followed by a graduated exercise regime; however there is minimal biomechanical evidence to support current treatment protocols. This investigation examines the in vitro effectiveness of several rehabilitation techniques using a custom elbow motion simulator. It was found that active range of motion is safest in the overhead position (n = 7). Early motion in this position may reduce the incidence of elbow stiffness without compromising ligament healing following LCL injury. Forearm pronation and active motion stabilize the LCL-deficient elbow, while varus positioning worsens instability. It was also found that a hinged elbow orthosis did not significantly improve in vitro elbow stability following LCL injury (n = 7). However, such orthoses may be useful in keeping the forearm in the more stable pronated position. Future research directions are proposed, with suggestions on applying this methodology to other elbow injuries.