Friday, November 15, 2013

Tommy John Surgery


Tommy John Surgery for Pitchers

Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction Surgery


What is Tommy John Surgery?

Tommy John surgery consists of replacing the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow with a tendon from somewhere else in the body, most often the forearm. During surgery, holes are drilled in the ulna and humerus bones at the elbow and a tendon is woven in a figure-eight pattern through the holes.


History of Tommy John Surgery

When surgeon Frank Jobe, MD, performed the first UCL reconstruction on Tommy John in 1974, he thought the pitcher only had a 1 in 100 chance of resuming his career with the Dodgers. (webMD)

But John returned to the Major Leagues in 1976. He pitched for another 14 years and won 164 more games.
Now, Tommy John surgery has a success rate of about 85% according to Dr. James Andrews.




How long does it take to recover from Tommy John Surgery?

Tommy John surgery takes about an hour on the operating table. What follows is about one year of rehabilitation. 


What is the cost of Tommy John Surgery?

Tommy John surgery (UCL reconstruction) is $15,000 - $22,000 for the operation, plus the cost of one year of rehab. According to surgerycosts.net the cost of UCL Reconstruction Surgery is $21,563. Learn more about the cost of Tommy John surgery.


How common is Tommy John surgery for MLB pitchers?

About one third of Major League Baseball pitchers have undergone Tommy John surgery. 


Have any switch pitchers had Tommy John Surgery?

Yes.  Ryan Perez had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2012. Perez sustained the elbow injury while pitching at the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Florida. Perez is now a switch pitcher for Judson University.

Preston Cronk became a switch pitcher - following injury to his right elbow that required surgery.

If a switch pitcher has solid throwing mechanics, balances their throwing routine, and takes care of both arms, then they should be able to pitch for many years without having surgery.

A couple of the top switch pitchers who throw around 90 mph, including Pat Venditte, had surgery for a torn rotator cuff


Tommy John surgery impacts SSU athletes
By Kyler Johnson | Sonoma State Star, October 1, 2013

Tommy John surgery has become one of the most popular surgeries in baseball today. Due to the unnatural overhand throwing motion in baseball, many pitchers come across elbow issues throughout their career. 
Tommy John surgery has given them a way of trying to bounce back. The exact surgery consists of replacing the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow with a tendon from somewhere else in the body, most often the forearm.
According to CBS Sports, a third of Major League Baseball pitchers today have undergone Tommy John surgery. This year, 124 of the 360 pitchers who started the Major League season had the operation done. 

Read more



Tommy John surgery rehabilitation estimated to take a year
By Ward Gossett | timesfreepress.com, April 6, 2012
Tommy John surgery takes about an hour on the operating table. What follows is at least 364 days of rehabilitation.
Cost of the surgery, according to a Gainesville (Ga.) Times story that cited the Georgia Sports Orthopedic Specialists center, is more than $15,000, and that doesn't include rehab.
"How long sitting in physical therapy? A bare minimum would be at least three months," local physical therapist Shawn Craig said. "It's not every day but at least two or three days per week. Usually it's so minimal what you can do early on." 
Read more


Reading

5 Myths of Tommy John Surgery
mikereinold.com
Despite popular belief, if you have Tommy John surgery you are not guaranteed to return to your previous level without complications, and rehab is not a quick and easy process that results in improved velocity. 

Tommy John Surgery: Journey back to the mound
Read a first hand account of the surgery, rehab, frustrations, and successes as I make my journey back to baseball and ultimately back to the pitcher's mound.

Tommy John Surgery (UCL Reconstruction) and Recovery - WebMD


HowStuffWorks "Tommy John Surgery"

By Cindy Boren | The Washington Post, April 18, 2012

By Mike Dodd, USA TODAY
The operation takes about an hour, and the ensuing rehabilitation about a year.

Tommy John surgery: Pitcher's best friend
By Mike Dodd, USA TODAY

Videos

Elbow Anatomy Animated Tutorial

Tommy John Remembers
Tommy John was interviewed in Jamestown NY regarding his career which included his now famous operation on his arm which operation bears his name.
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