[2015] John Martisch: Tommy John Surgery

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by jlikar
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Human Anatomy
Grade:
12

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[2015] John Martisch: Tommy John Surgery

The surgery is becoming more common every year, baseball pitchers and athletes are getting the surgery often. With all of these procedures being done, the surgery will only get better and more efficient. Down the road, I see tommy john still being a common surgery, just more efficient and effective. It's also important to note just how many procedures are being done on young adults. More and more stress needs to be and is being put on elbow care in baseball to avoid getting Tommy John at an early age.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Here is a quick animation, showing exactly how the procedure is done and the steps completed along the way.

Tommy John SurgeryBy: John Martisch

What is it?It is also known in medical practice as anulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction. The procedure itself is done when there is a tear in the ulnar colateral ligament located in the medial area of the elbow. This ligament is removed if severley damaged, it is then replaced with a tendon graft taken from somewhere else in the body. The most common tendon taken is the Palmaris tendon located in the forearm. An incision is made in the medial elbow where two holes are drilled in the ulna and humerus bones to accomodate the new tendon. The grafted tendon is then woven in a figure eight pattern through the drilled holes and anchored. The Ulnar nerve lies right along the medial side of the arm, this is usually moved over before surgery to prevent nerve damage.

It is most commonly seen in the game of baseball, because so much stress is being put on the ulnar collateral ligament as a baseball is thrown. Though, baseball is not the only sport, tennis, golf, football, and many other sports put an immense amount of stress on the ligament making it suseptable to rupture. As the surgery is done more and more, the success rate continues o rise and more arms are saved. A upper extremity orthopedic surgeon usually does the surgery, it is more common today than it was in years past. If we open any baseball news, we will most likely see a case of tommy john in the news. The ulnar collateral ligament is an important one in the overhand throwing motion, some pitchers come back stronger after surgery than they were before.

What is it??

The future of Tommy John Surgery

UCL Reconstruction Animation

The first surgery was done in 1976 by Dr. Frank Jobe on former LA Dodgers pitcher Tommy John. Back then, Dr. Jobe gave John a 1 in 100 chance of return to baseball. He won 164 games after surgery and retired at the age of 46. Right now the recovery time for the surgery is around a full year. More than 15-20 pitchers in the MLB have it today and it's becoming more and more common as more innings are thrown and more stress is being put on the ulnar collateral ligament.

History

Where is it seen commonly?


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