Elbow Valgus Stress Test

Discover how to perform the Elbow Valgus Stress Test. Get a free PDF template and example in this guide to help you learn more about this stress assessment.

By Ericka Pingol on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

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What is a UCL injury?

An ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injury, also known as a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury, is damage to the ulnar collateral ligament, a band of tissue that connects the humerus (upper arm bone) to the ulna (bone in the forearm). The UCL's anterior and posterior bands provide stability to the elbow joint, preventing it from excessive side-to-side movement. When these bands are overstretched or torn, it can result in pain, weakness, and instability in the elbow.

A UCL injury can occur due to repetitive stress on the elbow or from a sudden traumatic event such as a fall. UCL or MCL injuries are common among athletes participating in overhead-throwing sports such as baseball, softball, and tennis.


Some of the common symptoms of a UCL injury include:

  • Pain and tenderness on the inner side of the elbow
  • Swelling and stiffness around the elbow joint
  • Difficulty with gripping or throwing objects due to weakness in the arm
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the ring and little fingers are supplied by the ulnar nerve that runs through the UCL.

Individuals may also experience a popping sound during the injury, followed by difficulty with arm movements. In severe cases, there may be bruising or discoloration around the elbow joint.

How to diagnose a UCL injury

To diagnose an MCL injury, the doctor will first perform a physical examination and review the patient's medical history. They may also order imaging tests such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, which are medical imaging techniques used to evaluate the severity of an injury by providing detailed images of the inside of the body.

In some cases, a stress test like the Elbow Valgus Stress Test, in which the doctor applies pressure to the inner side of the elbow while bending and straightening the arm, may be performed to assess the stability of the UCL.

Printable Elbow Valgus Stress Test

Download this Elbow Valgus Stress Test to assess ligament integrity and aid in diagnosing elbow injuries, assisting healthcare professionals in orthopedic assessments.

What is the Elbow Valgus Stress Test?

The Elbow Valgus Stress Test is a medical procedure used to assess the integrity and stability of the UCL or MCL. It is commonly performed on athletes, especially those involved in throwing sports such as baseball or javelin.

To perform the test, the patient sits comfortably on an examination table with their arm resting on a flat surface. The doctor then stands behind the patient and places one hand above the elbow joint and the other just below it. They will then gently apply pressure to the inner side of the elbow while bending and straightening the arm.

If the elbow has pain or excessive movement, it could indicate a UCL injury and valgus instability. The doctor may also perform the same test on the unaffected arm for comparison.

How does our Elbow Valgus Stress Test template work?

Carepatron's free Elbow Valgus Stress Test template is designed to help healthcare professionals perform this elbow stability test accurately and efficiently for improved clinical documentation. Follow these steps to get started:

Step 1: Download the template

Get a copy of the printable Elbow Valgus Stress Test using this page's link or the Carepatron app. You can also get it from our handy resources library, which includes other physio tests like the Shrug Test, MCL Injury Test, and more.

Step 2: Print or use the digital format

You can choose to print the template and have it ready in your clinic for easy access during consultations. Alternatively, you can use our digital format on the Carepatron app to complete the test directly on your device.

Step 3: Conducting the test

Follow the instructions in the template to perform this stress test properly. Note any pain or excessive movement during the test, which could indicate a UCL injury.

Step 4: Record your findings

Use the designated space on the template to record your patient's responses and any other observations made during the test. This will help with accurate clinical documentation and treatment planning.

Step 5: Share or save

You can easily save your completed template on the Carepatron app for future reference or share it with colleagues and other healthcare providers involved in your patient's care.

Elbow Valgus Stress Test example (sample)

Our team has created a sample completed Elbow Valgus Stress Test template to illustrate how it should be filled out and recorded. This sample is based on a fictitious patient and should not be used for diagnostic purposes.

Download this free Elbow Valgus Stress Test example here:

Elbow Valgus Stress Test

Treatment options for valgus instability

Patients with a UCL injury will typically undergo nonsurgical treatment first, which includes rest, ice, compression, and physical therapy. If these methods do not provide relief or if the injury is severe, surgery may be required.

Surgery for UCL injuries typically involves ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, which consists of using a graft to replace the damaged ligament. After this elbow surgery, patients must undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation to recover fully.

Healthcare professionals recommend that patients refrain from activities that may aggravate the injury, especially throwing sports, until they have fully healed. Patients should also follow their treatment plan and attend all recommended follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing and prevent future injuries.

Why use Carepatron as your medical testing software?

Carepatron is your one-stop solution for all medical testing needs. Our practice management software is trusted by medical professionals worldwide and has been proven to improve administrative processes, increase efficiency, and enhance patient care.

With Carepatron, you can easily manage and track patient appointments, medical records, billing and payments, clinical documentation, and more. It is a comprehensive system that streamlines all aspects of your everyday tasks, allowing you to focus on providing the best possible care for your patients.

Join the growing community of healthcare providers who have chosen Carepatron as their trusted medical testing software. Sign up today and experience the benefits for yourself!

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How is the medial collateral ligament related to the UCL?
How is the medial collateral ligament related to the UCL?

Commonly asked questions

How is the medial collateral ligament related to the UCL?

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) are the same ligaments, referred to by different names. Located along the medial joint line of the elbow, it plays a vital role in maintaining elbow stability by preventing excessive lateral displacement of the ulna.

Can UCL injuries affect elbow extension and stability?

Yes, ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries can significantly impact elbow extension and stability. Injuries to this ligament can result in pain, weakness, and limited range of motion in the elbow joint.

Can elbow flexion and supination be affected by UCL injuries?

Yes, elbow flexion and supination can also be impacted by UCL injuries. When the ligament is damaged, bending the elbow or rotating the forearm can be difficult.

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