Tommy John surgery, also known as ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction, is a surgical procedure done to repair the elbow ligament. A UCL tear is a common injury among athletes and can occur from repetitive stress on the elbow joint.
NJ Spine and Wellness is devoted to providing the best possible care for our patients. Our team of experienced surgeons use the latest techniques and technologies to ensure successful outcomes for our patients. In addition, our sports medicine rehabilitation specialists work closely with our patients to help them regain full function and range of motion following surgery.
Before undergoing Tommy John surgery, NJ Spine and Wellness will conduct a thorough evaluation to ensure the procedure is right for you. We believe in a conservative approach to treatment and will recommend non-surgical options whenever possible.
If you are a candidate for Tommy John surgery, there are many benefits that you may expect from the procedure. These benefits include:
- Relief from pain and discomfort
- Increased stability in the elbow joint
- Improved range of motion
- Restored strength in the elbow
- Improved ability to throw with velocity and accuracy
- Return to pre-injury level of activity
While a UCL tear is often a sports-related injury, it may occur from any repetitive stress or sudden force on the elbow joint. Tommy John surgery typically takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete, with most patients returning home the same day.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and involves making a small incision on the inside of the elbow. The damaged ligament tissue is then removed and replaced with a graft from either the patient’s body tissue or a donor. The graft is then attached to the bones in the elbow joint using sutures, and the incisions are closed.
Following surgery, patients will wear a splint for approximately two weeks. During this time, it is crucial to keep the elbow joint immobilized to allow for optimal healing. Physical therapy will then be started to help regain your range of motion and strength in the elbow joint. Most patients are able to return to their pre-injury level of activity within four to six months.