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Pathologies of the Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) Tendon and its Investments in the Athlete

Article · Literature ReviewinHand clinics 28(3):345-56, ix · August 2012with60 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.hcl.2012.05.049 · Source: PubMed
Those who have dedicated significant time to the study and care of stick-and-ball athletes have an appreciation for the unique anatomy, unusual forces, and proclivity for injury. It is imperative that hand surgeons involved in the care of baseball, hockey, tennis, and golf athletes appreciate the anatomic and mechanical elements of extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) pathology. It is necessary to maintain a high level of suspicion for ECU problems, among other ulnar wrist pathologies, as well as acute diagnostic skill and a portfolio of therapeutic alternatives for their treatment.

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    Pain on the ulnar side of the wrist is common among elite tennis players. Ten years of experience has allowed identification of a pathology involving the extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) tendon. On the basis of 28 clinical cases seen over the last five years, three clinical patterns are described: (a) acute instability of the ECU; (b) tendinopathy; (c) ECU rupture. Each of these clinical entities... [Show full abstract]
      The ulnar aspect of the wrist is commonly injured in high-level tennis players. We report our experience over the last ten years which has led to the identification of a clinical entity called the extensor carpi ulnaris tendinpathy. We describe findings in 28 clinical cases seen over the last five years and identify three clinical presentations: acute instability, tendinopathy, extensor carpi... [Show full abstract]
        This article specifically focuses on extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) tendon instability in athletes. ECU instability occurs when insufficiency of the fibro-osseous subsheath allows the ECU tendon to subluxate out of the distal ulnar groove, which may result in painful snapping of the tendon at the ulnar side of the wrist. Etiologies commonly include acute traumatic rupture of the subsheath or... [Show full abstract]
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