• Shane Hadley, PTA, ATC


In medical terms, Tommy John Surgery, is Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) reconstruction. This is a surgical procedure, in which the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (inner elbow), is replaced after a tear, with a tendon graft taken from another body part. This procedure was named after Tommy John, the first major league baseball player to have this procedure in 1974, by Dr. Frank Jobe, of the Kerlin-Jobe Clinic.

Typical causes of Ulnar Collateral Ligament tear are increased tension with repetitive throwing, on the medial elbow of overhead athletes, including baseball pitchers, javelin and other throwing sports. More traumatic causes, such as elbow dislocation during a fall with outstretched arm, can lead to a UCL tear, resulting in instability and pain.