What is Tommy John Surgery: How to Know if You Need It
Tommy John surgery is a procedure to repair the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in the elbow, which can be torn due to excessive throwing movements. Reconstruction surgery of the UCL involves the use of a tendon from another part of your body or a donor.
How Do You Know if You Need Tommy John Surgery?
Tommy John surgery is only recommended if other conservative treatment options have failed or if it is determined that it will not heal properly on its own. Most people who have Tommy John surgery have overuse injuries that cause the UCL to tear.
What are the Symptoms and Rehabilitation Procedures After Tommy John Surgery?
Physical therapy exercises focus on increasing strength in the hands, wrist, fingers, shoulder, and biceps. Many patients regain a normal range of motion and have very few residual Tommy John surgery symptoms within a few months of Tommy John surgery.
Tommy John Ligament Surgery Has Become a Staple in UCL Tears
Find a physical therapist who specializes in treating Tommy John surgery symptoms and rehabilitation protocols near you using the BetterPT website. Get the help you need faster than ever before, and get started on the road to recovery today.
How do you know if you have Tommy Johns?
Prior to tearing the ligament, you may experience pain in your inner elbow, which is caused by a strain on the ligament. Other signs of an ulnar collateral ligament tear include swelling in the inside part of the elbow and the upper forearm.
What does a torn UCL feel like?
The most common symptom of a UCL injury is pain on the inner side of the elbow, which can sometimes feel like a “pop” after throwing, followed by intense pain. UCL injuries are diagnosed by physical examination and a valgus stress test to assess elbow instability.
Where does Tommy elbow hurt?
A Tommy John injury is an injury to the medial (inside) part of the elbow ligament that most commonly affects overhead throwing athletes like baseball pitchers and quarterbacks, but it can also happen in gymnastics, javelin throwing, tennis, volleyball, and softball.
Does a torn UCL hurt to touch?
A UCL injury may cause pain and tightness in the area at first, but the UCL can stretch and even tear over time and with repeated stress or trauma.
Can you still throw with a torn UCL?
After surgery, bracing is required for several weeks, and slow, progressive rehabilitation is critical for a successful outcome; overhead motions and throwing are usually possible after three months, and competition is usually allowed six to nine months after surgery.
Can a UCL heal on its own?
u201cThe UCL does not completely heal on its own ever,u201d Dawkins wrote elsewhere, u201cand the area can only be stabilized by two methods without surgery: first, the elbow can be strengthened up to the point where the muscles take up the slack for the lack of ligament stability.u201d
Why does my elbow hurt to the touch?
Overuse is a common cause of elbow pain, as many sports, hobbies, and jobs require repetitive hand, wrist, or arm movements. Elbow pain can occasionally be caused by arthritis, but your elbow joint is much less prone to wear-and-tear damage than many other joints.
What helps ligaments heal faster?
When injured ligaments are treated in a way that promotes good blood flow, such as with ice, heat, proper movement, increased hydration, and sports medicine technologies like NormaTec Recovery and the Graston technique, they heal faster.
Can you strain your UCL?
A UCL sprain can happen suddenly (acute) or gradually over time as a result of wear and tear.
How do I know if my elbow pain is serious?
If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor right away.
- Intense pain, swelling, and bruising around your elbow.
- Pain, swelling, or redness that gets worse, especially if you have a fever.
When should I see a doctor for elbow pain?
If you have severe pain, swelling, or bruising around the joint, or if you have trouble moving your elbow normally, using your arm, or turning your arm from palm up to palm down and vice versa, call your doctor right away.
How do I know if my elbow tendon is torn?
Signs and Symptoms
- Swelling in the front of the elbow.
- Visible bruising in the elbow and forearm.
- Weakness in bending the elbow.
- Weakness in twisting the forearm (supination)
- A bulge in the upper part of the arm caused by the recoiled, shortened biceps muscle.
How do you treat a strained UCL?
Depending on the severity of the injury and your health goals, nonsurgical treatment for UCL tears can range from rest and physical therapy to surgery.
- Physical therapy to strengthen the elbow muscles and improve range of motion.
- Rest and ice.
- Anti-inflammatory medications.
How do you strengthen your UCL?
Hold a soup can or hammer handle in your hand and bend your elbow 90 degrees. Slowly turn your hand so your palm is up and then down. Do 2 sets of 15. Resisted elbow flexion and extension: Hold a soup can with your palm up and bend your elbow 90 degrees.