Elbow conditions: What is a medial ligament sprain?

23 March 2017
Comments: 0
23 March 2017, Comments: 0

A medial ligament sprain of the elbow is due to direct impact, accident or repetitive overuse. It is important to note that the medial collateral ligament in the elbow is positioned on the interior part of the elbow and responsible for stabilizing the joint.

What are the indications?

  • Pain and tenderness if the affected area in the ligament is pressed
  • Pain and possible instability if the ligament is stressed
  • Pain is produced during resisted flexing of the elbow
  • In severe injuries, it can cause swelling and bruising around the interior elbow

What are the causes?

Elbow conditions: What is a medial ligament sprain?

Pain and tenderness if the affected area in the ligament is pressed.

A medial ligament sprain can be caused by impact injuries that results to damage to the ligament. In such instances, there is a lateral force involved that is focused on the forearm which puts the medial joint under stress.

As for overuse injuries that result to a medial ligament sprain, repetitive movements places significant stress on the interior elbow that damages the ligament. Those who engage in throwing sports are susceptible to this injury especially if the technique is incorrect.


  • The individual should rest if the indications of a medial ligament sprain on the elbow is suspected. If detected early, modification of the technique to avoid stress to the ligament is usually enough. Nevertheless, complete rest might be required.
  • The application of an ice pack is vital to minimize the pain and inflammation
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Taping of the ligaments for added protection
  • Sports massage is also beneficial especially the friction techniques to break down any scar tissue and promote improved blood flow.
  • An elbow support must be used to help retain heat, promote the flow of blood and healing.
  • Surgery is usually performed which involves reconstruction of the ligaments but this is usually the last resort since the outcome might not always be good in most cases.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a medial ligament sprain in the elbow is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage elbow conditions and injuries, register for a first aid and CPR course with Ottawa First Aid.

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