T Nation

Torn MCL in Elbow

Hi guys,

I was wondering if anyone could help. I tore my medial collateral ligament (confirmed by MRI, no dye however) in my right elbow, dominate side, several weeks ago during Jiu Jitsu. Right now I’m supposed to wear a brace and stay off it. I will not be able to see the physical therapist for several weeks but, as you can imagine, I would like to stay active and help recovery in anyway I can. The tear was severe and almost complete. I’m having trouble finding any information online for those you are opting out of surgery.

Has anyone has had this injury before? If so, how long did it take you to recover without surgery?

Should I get surgery (Tommy John) or will I be able to recover and lift successfully without it? I’m not a ball player but would like to continue wrestling.

What are my limitations with exercise? Barbell squats a no? Band pull aparts a bad idea? Any advice in this regard would be greatly appreciated as not lifting is driving me crazy. I’m currently in a hinge brace.

Any recommendations on rehab protocols and exercises?

I will hopefully be able to see a physio soon but, until then, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your time and help.

Honestly if it is almost a complete tear, surgical intervention may be the best option. What did the doctor recommend?

If you are going to continue with exercise, I would significantly limit any stress through that elbow. With the injured elbow, I would stick to mainly active range of motion exercise and maybe some grip work until you can see a therapist or specialist. You still have 1 healthy arm and 2 healthy legs to train, but may just have to be more selective in your exercises due to avoiding stress to the injured arm.

Thanks for the advice. After weighing my options, I think I’m going with surgery.