Orthopaedic experts advise caution as start of spring sports season comes with rise in elbow injuries

by Liz Bonis & Megan Burgasser, WKRC || Read the full story here.


CINCINNATI (WKRC) – A common injury that can occur in athletes is showing up in doctor’s offices all across the area. It’s an injury that typically follows a fall.


As spring sports get underway, sports medicine doctors at OrthoCincy said they’re seeing a rise in elbow injuries in athletes.


Lyla Brefeld is a flyer in cheerleading.


“So, I fell out of a stunt and I caught myself on my arm, it like twisted and popped,” Brefeld said.


Dr. Michael Greiwe specializes in those kinds of twists and pops. He’s an elbow specialist at OrthoCincy. After checking out her range of motion, imaging showed that Lyla had a UCL tear.


“Here’s the ligament, the UCL. She had a proximal injury to the UCL,” Dr. Greiwe said.


That kind of ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tear is an injury to one of the ligaments on the inner side of the elbow, which helps stabilize the arm.


“UCL tears can happen in athletes if they fall and they’ve been throwing a lot or doing a lot of overhead activities. That’s usually how it happens,” Dr. Greiwe said.


Sadly, Brefeld’s injury was season-ending.


“I was very, very sad. It was a hard day,” Brefeld said.


The good news is after stabilization and the proper activity, she’s slowly healing for next season.


“I’ve been going to physical therapy and getting it stronger,” Brefeld said.


She expects to be flying again soon.


“So, we work on wrist strengthening, we work on forearm strengthening,” Dr. Greiwe said. “And that can help prevent these injuries.”