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The modified docking procedure for elbow ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction: 2-year follow-up in elite throwers.

BACKGROUND: Ulnar collateral ligament injury is most common in the overhead-throwing athlete. Jobe et al published the first report of ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction in throwing athletes with a 62.5% success rate. Recently, Altchek developed a new docking technique for reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament. The authors report the first series using a further modification of the docking technique using a 4-strand palmaris longus graft for reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament.

HYPOTHESIS: The modified docking technique yields a high rate of successful return to preinjury level of competition in elite baseball players.

STUDY DESIGN: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

METHODS: The authors retrospectively reviewed 25 elite professional or scholarship collegiate baseball players who underwent elbow ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction using the modified docking procedure with a minimum 2-year follow-up.

RESULTS: Twenty-three of 25 (92%) were able to return to their preinjury levels of competition. The mean time to return was 11.5 months (range, 10-16 months). Complications included 1 transient postoperative ulnar nerve neurapraxia and 1 stress fracture of the ulnar bone bridge that occurred at 14 months postoperatively, after a full return to pitching.

CONCLUSION: The modified docking technique yields highly successful return to preinjury level of competition rates (92%) in a select group of elite baseball players.

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