Imaging Sports-related Elbow Injuries

M. Cody O'Dell, MD, MPH; Joel Urena, MD; Dzmitry Fursevich, MD; Edward Sanchez; Gary LiMarzi, MD; Laura Bancroft, MD


Appl Radiol. 2015;44(3) 

In This Article


With increasing participation in organized sports, the incidence of sports-related injuries is on the rise in males and females of all ages. The elbow is one of the more commonly injured joints, especially in sports associated with throwing, swinging, or punching motions. Many sports-related injuries of the elbow are secondary to chronic overuse, which typically results from microscopic damage of tissues secondary to chronic submaximal loading.[1,2] Elbow injuries are also common in myriad sports where participants experience blunt trauma or falls onto an outstretched hand. Knowledge of the patient's age is important to understanding the prevalent injuries in adults, adolescents and children. Pediatric patients are more prone to a specific subset of injuries, given their unique anatomy and intensity of training in sports such as baseball and gymnastics.[2–4] Adults also have a high incidence of elbow injuries related to sports, although the etiologies and mechanisms are slightly different.