Ulnar Nerve Injuries
This injury is usually the result of excessive valgus stress on the elbow during repeated throwing (especially during the cocking phase of a throw). Sometimes a direct injury to the nerve within the cubital tunnel (“hitting your funny bone”) will result in nerve damage. Symptoms include tingling and numbness in the ring and pinky fingers. This may occur during or after throwing or with prolonged bending of the elbow.
Changing throwing technique, bracing if necessary, and therapeutic exercise may be helpful. If the problem persists, or there is prolonged weakness, then surgery is indicated.
The labrum is a cartilage ring that surrounds the shoulder socket (called the glenoid) and makes it deeper. In the above picture, it is numbered “5” – the thin blue ring around the glenoid. Since the socket is deepened by the labrum, the ball of the arm bone (called the head of the humerus) has a better fit into it. Labrum or labral tears are usually associated with trauma, instability of the shoulder, or repetitive throwing as with a baseball player.
The signs and symptoms of a labral tear are painful clicking, locking, or popping. Instability may be present because the labrum is not doing its job of holding the ball in the socket. Medical intervention for a labral tear typically involves an MRI for diagnosis and arthroscopic repair but labral tears are often hard to diagnose. A special kind of labral tear, a superior labral anterior to posterior (SLAP) tear, often involves the biceps tendon as well.