Radiographic and MRI Assessment of the Thrower’s Elbow

G. M. Powell, N. S. Murthy, A. C. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Throwing athletes are vulnerable to elbow injuries, especially in the medial elbow, related to high stress and valgus load in both acute and chronic settings as a result of this complex biomechanical action. This current review details the relevant anatomy and imaging features of common elbow pathology identified with radiographs and MRI in throwing athletes. Recent Findings: Although elbow pathology in throwing athletes is well documented, advances in imaging technology and technique, particularly with MRI, have allowed for more detailed and accurate imaging description and diagnosis. Summary: Pathology of thrower’s elbow occurs in predictable patterns and can be reliably identified radiologically. Clinical history and physical examination should guide radiologic evaluation initially with radiographs and followed by an MRI optimized to the clinical question. Constellation of clinical, physical, and radiologic assessments should be used to guide management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-223
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Elbow
  • MRI
  • Overhead throwing athlete
  • Thrower’s elbow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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