Early Complications of Ulnar Collateral Ligament Repair With Collagen-Coated Suture Tape Augmentation

Academic Article


  • Background: Recent innovative techniques have led to renewed interest in ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) repair. Although early outcome data regarding the clinical outcome of overhead athletes undergoing UCL repair with augmentation have been encouraging, long-term data are still needed to evaluate both the appropriate indications and success rate for this procedure. Purpose: To describe and evaluate the acute complications seen in a large cohort of patients who underwent UCL repair with internal brace augmentation at a single institution. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of a prospectively collected database, consisting of all patients who underwent UCL repair with internal brace augmentation utilizing a collagen-dipped FiberTape at our institution from August 2013 to January 2020. Patient characteristics, injury setting, side of surgery, and concomitant ulnar nerve transposition procedures were recorded. Early complications of UCL repair (within 6 months of the procedure) were evaluated and characterized as either minor or major, depending on whether the patient required a return to the operating room. Results: Of the 353 patients who underwent UCL repair at our institution with a minimum of 6-month follow-up, 84.7% (299/353) reported no complications, 11.9% (42/353) reported minor complications—including ulnar nerve paresthesia, postoperative medial elbow pain, and postoperative superficial wound complications—and 3.4% (12/353) required a return to the operating room because of a major complication requiring ulnar nerve exploration/debridement, primary ulnar nerve transposition, or heterotopic ossification excision. Conclusion: The low major complication rate identified in this study further validates the efficacy of the UCL repair with the internal bracing augmentation technique. Longer term follow-up data are needed to more adequately assess the outcomes and durability of this procedure.
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    Author List

  • Rothermich MA; Fleisig GS; Lucas HE; Ryan MK; Emblom BA; Cain EL; Dugas JR
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 9