Skip to main content

Injuries to the Extensor Carpi Ulnaris and Its Investments in the Athlete

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Sports Injuries of the Hand and Wrist

Part of the book series: In Clinical Practice ((ICP))

Abstract

While not common in general practice, extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) injuries are one of the more commonly seen pathologies in both the weekend sportsperson and the elite athlete. An accurate diagnosis is critical and can generally be made on history and physical examination alone when the clinician has a good understanding of the relevant anatomy. MRI and ultrasound are useful adjuncts in confirming the diagnosis especially if other concurrent injuries are suspected. Initial nonoperative treatment employing structured stabilisation/mobilisation protocols is recommended as most athletes can return to play within 6–8 weeks. Surgery is sometimes required for chronic cases or acute injuries with gross instability, but surgery can often be safely postponed to the end of season, thereby allowing for full recovery in time for the start of the next season.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  1. Allende C, Le Viet D. Extensor carpi ulnaris problems at the wrist–classification, surgical treatment and results. J Hand Surg (Br). 2005;30(3):265–72.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Burkhardt SS, Wood MB, Linscheid RL. Post-traumatic recurrent subluxation of the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon. J Hand Surg. 1982;7:1–3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Campbell D, Campbell R, O’Connor P, Hawkes R. Sports-related extensor carpi ulnaris pathology: a review of functional anatomy, sports injury and management. Br J Sports Med. 2013;47:1105–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Eckhardt WA, Palmer AK. Recurrent dislocation of extensor carpi ulnaris tendon. J Hand Surg Am. 1981;6(6):629–31.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Graham TJ. Pathologies of the extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) tendon and its investments in the athlete. Hand Clin. 2012;28(3):345–56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Inoue G, Tamura Y. Surgical treatment for recurrent dislocation of the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon. J Hand Surg Br. 2001;26(6):556–9.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Jeantroux J, Becce F, Guerini H, Montalvan B, Le Viet D, Drape J-L. Athletic injuries of the extensor carpi ulnaris sheath: MRI findings and utility of gadolinium-enhanced fat-saturated T1-weighted sequences with wrist pronation and supination. Eur Radiol. 2011;21:160–6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. MacLennan AJ, Nemechek NM, Waitayawinyu T, Trumble TE. Diagnosis and anatomic reconstruction of extensor carpi ulnaris subluxation. J Hand Surg. 2008;33(1):59–64.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Montalvan B, Parier J, Brasseur JL, Le Viet D, Drape JL. Extensor carpi ulnaris injuries in tennis players: a study of 28 cases. Br J Sports Med. 2006;40:424–9.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Rayan GM. Recurrent dislocation of the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon in athletes. Am J Sports Med. 1983;11(3):183–4.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Rettig AC, Patel DV. Epidemiology of elbow, forearm, and wrist injuries in the athlete. Clin Sports Med. 1995;14:289–97.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Rowland SA. Acute traumatic subluxation of the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon at the wrist. J Hand Surg. 1986;11(6):809–11.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Taleisnik J, Gelberman RH, Miller BW, Szabo RM. The extensor retinaculum of the wrist. J Hand Surg. 1984;9:495–501.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Vulpius J. Habitual dislocation of the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon. Acta Orthop Scand. 1964;34:105–8.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Thomas J. Graham .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

French, R.J., Graham, T.J. (2019). Injuries to the Extensor Carpi Ulnaris and Its Investments in the Athlete. In: Hayton, M., Ng, C., Funk, L., Watts, A., Walton, M. (eds) Sports Injuries of the Hand and Wrist. In Clinical Practice. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02134-4_13

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02134-4_13

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-02133-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-02134-4

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics