Tommy John Surgery PDF Print E-mail

Raphael S. F. Longobardi, MD, FAAOS
Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist
Hackensack, NJ (Bergen County)

What is a "Tommy John" Procedure?
A same day procedure to repair a torn elbow ligament.
(Please note that Dr. Longobardi may perform newer variations of this method than the video and/or pictures describe.)




This procedure, more formally known as UCL (Ulnar Collateral Ligament) reconstruction, is designed to repair a torn elbow ligament—an injury typically caused by strong, repetitive overhead throwing motions of the arm. It was first performed in 1974 on baseball pitcher Tommy John. The procedure typically lasts about an hour and a half, and patients usually leave the hospital the same day. The pictures and descriptions shown here are the classic way "Tommy John" surgery is performed. Please note that Dr. Longobardi may perform newer variations of this method than these pictures describe.


STEP 1:
After Dr. Longobardi harvests a tendon from the patient’s own body, he will make a three-inch incision along the inner side of the elbow. This exposes the damaged ulnar collateral ligament on the inside of the elbow.


STEP 2:
Tunnels are drilled through the humerus (upper arm bone) and ulna (a lower arm bone) at the points where the damaged ligament normally attaches.


STEP 3:
The harvested tendon is looped through the tunnels in a figure-eight pattern. The tendon is sutured to itself, stabilizing the joint.

Photos courtesy of Swarm Interactive

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Raphael S. F. Longobardi, MD
University Orthopaedic Center, PA

Continental Plaza
433 Hackensack Avenue, 2nd Floor
Hackensack NJ 07601
Phone 201-343-1717
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uoc@universityorthopaedic.com
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