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Ulnar Collateral Ligament Repair/Reconstruction (Tommy John Surgery)


  Medically reviewed by board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Nic Gay, MD and Dr. Kerisimasi Reynolds, MD

Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction

Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction is a surgery that is most commonly associated with athletes, especially those involved in throwing sports. The aim of treatment is to restore stability to the elbow, as well as reducing or eliminating associated pain. Once the patient has recovered, his/her range of motion should improve dramatically.

Surgery involves using a tendon from another part of the body or a donor to replace the UCL. First performed on baseball pitcher Tommy John in 1974, the surgery has adopted the athlete’s name in common reference. Frank Jobe, MD, pioneered collateral ligament reconstruction, and the surgery has remained commonplace in UCL reconstruction for decades since.

Treatment & Recovery

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and is typically an outpatient surgery. Dr. Nic Gay or Dr. Masi Reynolds will make a small incision and assess the inside of the elbow joint, before using the “graft” tendon to rebuild the structure of the damaged UCL ligament. This involves drilling holes in both the humerus and ulna bones, which allows the doctor to thread the grafted tendon through the bones.

At Silicon Valley Orthopaedics, we aim to use the most minimally invasive techniques available. As new research into less invasive surgical methodologies emerges, Dr. Nic Gay and Dr. Masi Reynolds are committed to adopting those practices for the benefit of patients.

Treatment involving ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction is subject to a comprehensive assessment with either Dr. Nic Gay or Dr. Masi Reynolds. Our main priority is ensuring you receive the right treatment for a speedy recovery at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics.

Contact our orthopedic practice today to book an appointment for an examination if you have suffered a sports injury that is causing joint pain, inflammation, reduced mobility or limited rotation in the joint. Our team will work with you to ensure that your treatment plan is effective and affordable.

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