Lateral Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction for Posterolateral Rotatory Instability of the Elbow: A Systematic Review

Austin Fares*, Nicholas Kusnezov, John C. Dunn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Posterolateral rotatory instability (PLRI) is a common form of recurrent elbow instability. The aim of this systematic review is to present the outcomes and complications of lateral ulnar collateral ligament (LUCL) reconstruction surgery for PLRI. Methods: A literature search of LUCL reconstructions was performed, identifying 99 potential papers; 11 of which met inclusion/exclusion criteria, accounting for 148 patients. Papers were included if they reviewed cases of PLRI from 1976 to 2016 with reported outcome measures. Data were pooled and analyzed focusing on patient demographics as well as subjective and objective patient outcomes and complications. Results: The average age of patients was 34 years with a mean follow-up time of 49.8 months. The most common mechanism of injury was a traumatic elbow dislocation (66%), followed by cubitus varus deformity (7%), and unknown mechanisms (7%). Overall, 90% of patients achieved elbow stability and 2.7% experienced a failed reconstruction that necessitated an additional surgery. Furthermore, 93% were satisfied with the outcome of the reconstruction, and 83% reported good to excellent outcomes with 11% reporting moderate to severe persistent pain. Nearly half (45%) of reconstructions were done using a palmaris longus tendon graft, 24% with a triceps tendon graft, and 7% with a synthetic graft. Conclusions: Outcomes following LUCL reconstruction for PLRI are excellent and revision rates are low. LUCL reconstruction is a safe and reliable procedure. Level of Evidence: IV Therapeutic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • elbow instability
  • lateral ulnar collateral ligament
  • posterolateral rotatory instability
  • reconstruction


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