The surgery is named after Tommy John, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers who was the first professional athlete to successfully undergo the operation in 1974.
Using the athletes own tissue (autograft), a ligament is reconstructed and woven in a figure-eight pattern through tunnels that have been drilled in the ulna and humerus bones. Many times during reconstruction, the ulnar nerve will need to be moved in an effort to keep it from being irritated during throwing. This tissue is then secured in the bone with either screws or sutures depending on the surgical method employed.
Physical Therapy is a critical part of complete recovery. Our doctors recommend DMC's Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, with 30 convenient locations across southeastern Michigan. To find one near you, click here.