Return to sport following elbow surgery

Clin Sports Med. 2004 Jul;23(3):353-66, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.csm.2004.04.002.


Although less common than injuries to the knee or shoulder, elbow injuries can be a substantial challenge to sports medicine providers. Many elbow problems respond to routine nonoperative measures including periods of activity modification and physical therapy, but others may ultimately require surgery. Following surgery, appropriate attention to rehabilitation is important to achieve optimal function. This article addresses some of the more common sports-related operative elbow pathology, basic principals of surgery (with an emphasis on techniques only where it may impact rehabilitation or return-to-sport decisions), and return-to-play decisions (including typical "targeted" time frames). The emphasis is on an understanding of sport-specific functional demands and the difficult assessment of reinjury risk following surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Collateral Ligaments / injuries
  • Collateral Ligaments / surgery
  • Elbow / injuries*
  • Elbow / surgery
  • Humans
  • Recovery of Function
  • Sports Medicine
  • Tendon Injuries
  • Tendons / surgery