Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute is proud to offer ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, also known as Tommy John surgery. Our experienced elbow surgeons offer you the comprehensive care you need for an effective procedure and a successful recovery. Our surgeons are fellowship-trained in ligament reconstruction and specialize exclusively in caring for elbow injuries.
What is ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction?
The ulnar collateral ligament is a small, tough, and flexible connective tissue that is located on the inner portion of your elbow, helping to secure your elbow joint. Over time, the ligament may tear, especially in athletes who play throwing sports. When the ulnar collateral ligament is injured, it may require ligament reconstruction surgery from an orthopedic specialist.
What does ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction involve?
The goal of Tommy John surgery is to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament by replacing it with a tendon from elsewhere in the body. During this procedure, the ligament is accessed through small incisions, through which the damaged tissues are removed to prepare for the replacement ligament. Then, the replacement ligament is attached to the bone using special screws and the incisions are closed.
What does ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction recovery involve?
After ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery, your elbow will be secured in a brace to protect the tissue. Your surgeon will likely recommend that you start physical therapy right away. Within one or two weeks, you should be able to move your elbow, and you may be placed in an arm sling. By the end of the first month, you should be able to fully extend your elbow and you may be able to stop wearing the brace.
If you are a throwing athlete, you will likely need a longer rehabilitation before you can return to your sport. Throwing athletes often return to competition between six and nine months after Tommy John surgery. We will work closely with you and your family to monitor your recovery.
What are the benefits of undergoing ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction?
The benefits of visiting MedStar Orthopaedic Institute for your Tommy John surgery include:
- Pain relief
- Restored ligament strength
- Improved mobility
- Improved range of motion
- Ability to return to physical activities following recovery
If you believe you may need ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery, call 202-295-0511 to schedule a consultation with one of our elbow specialists at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute. Our doctors have years of experience treating a wide range of elbow conditions and are pleased to offer comprehensive elbow care in the Washington, D.C. area.