Who is Tommy John?
Tommy John was a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. In 1974 he was unable to pitch because of injury to his elbow. Until that time, this particular injury ended the career of baseball pitchers.
What ligament did Tommy John injure?
The ligament injured was the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) on the inside of the elbow joint. Patients with injury to this ligament have pain on the inside of the elbow and instability of the joint. Other causes of pain on the inside of the elbow include tendonitis, and ulnar nerve conditions.
What is Tommy John surgery?
Tommy John surgery is a surgical procedure to reconstruct the UCL using a tendon from the forearm. The tendon is used to recreate the damaged ligament and improve the stability of the elbow joint.
Tommy John surgery was developed by Dr. Frank Jobe in Los Angeles. Today, Tommy John surgery can be used to extend the career in many baseball pitchers; the success rate following surgery is about 85%. Rehabilitation following surgery often sidelines the athlete for 12-18 months.