Valgus extension overload (VEO)

This is a common injury among athletes who throw as part of their sport and is sometimes known as ‘pitcher’s elbow’.


When throwing, the olecranon and humerus are twisted, forcing them together. Over time this can cause valgus extension overload (VEO) where the protective cartilage on the olecranon is gradually worn away.


Pain when you extend your elbow and swelling where the bones are in contact with each other, along with the formation of bony lumps around the elbow joint (also known as bone spurs or osteophytes).


If, after a medical examination, your specialist thinks you may have valgus extension overload, you will be offered an X-ray and an MRI or CT scan to confirm the diagnosis.


Non-operative treatment: this includes taking anti-inflammatory medication, if advised by your doctor, along with changing your throwing technique if necessary.


Arthroscopic surgery allows your specialist to remove loose bone fragments and clean up the joint (debridement). However, if the condition has caused elbow instability, you may be offered ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery.


Elbow fractures that are displaced, unstable or open require surgery to remove bone fragments
This type of surgery is carried out to relieve nerve entrapment (cubital tunnel syndrome)
This procedure is usually performed under a general anaesthetic using ‘open’ surgery
As most ligament tears can’t be stitched together, ligament reconstruction surgery can be carried out to replace torn ligament

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