Anconeus Epitrochlearis as a Source of Medial Elbow Pain in Baseball Pitchers
Li X, Dines JS, Gorman M, Limpisvasti O, Gambardella R, Yocum L. Anconeus Epitrochlearis as a source of medial elbow pain in baseball pitchers. Orthopedics. 2012 July;35(7): e1129-32.
Medial elbow pain is reported in 18% to 69% of baseball players aged of 9 and 19 years. This is due to the large valgus stresses focused on the medial side of the elbow during overhead activities. In overhead throwers and pitchers, pain can be attributed to valgus extension overload with resultant posteromedial impingement, overuse of the flexor-pronator musculature resulting in medial epicondylitis, or occasional muscle tears or ruptures. The anconeus epitrochlearis is a known cause of cubital tunnel syndrome and has been postulated as a source of medial elbow pain in overhead athletes. This article describes the cases of 3 right-handed baseball pitchers with persistent right-sided medial elbow pain during throwing despite a prolonged period of rest, physical therapy, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Two patients had symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome as diagnosed by electromyogram and nerve conduction studies and the presence of the anconeus epitrochlearis muscle per magnetic resonance imaging. All patients underwent isolated release of the anconeus muscle without ulnar nerve transposition and returned to their previous levels of activity. The diagnosis and treatment of pitchers who present with medial-sided elbow pain can be complex. The differential should include an enlarged or inflamed anconeus epitrochlearis muscle as a possible cause. Conservative management should be the first modality. However, surgical excision with isolated release of the muscle can be successful in returning patients with persistent pain despite a trial of conservative management to their previous levels of function.