UCL (Ulnar Collateral Ligament) Reconstruction
When you throw a baseball or any object overhand, you are using your ulnar collateral ligament, or UCL. This ligament is vital for propelling your hand and forearm forward from the elbow. When the UCL is injured, it can impact the function of the elbow and throwing motion. At Jonathan L. Glashow, MD orthopedic surgery and sports injury center in Miami, FL, we offer UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) reconstruction surgery.
UCL tears and damage often occur in baseball players, but these injuries can occur in anyone who performs repetitive throwing or forearm movements. In most cases, UCL tears are not from a single injury but from overuse and repetitive motions. UCL tears can be painful, and they restrict the range of motion of the arm.
One option for repairing a torn UCL is an internal brace. This is a cutting-edge procedure that uses surgical tape and sutures to repair the UCL. However, this procedure is not right for everyone with a UCL tear – many patients require UCL reconstruction, or Tommy John surgery.
Tommy John Surgery
UCL reconstruction surgery is used for severe tears that cannot be repaired with an internal brace or other techniques. It is considered the gold standard for restoring complete function to the elbow after a UCL tear. The procedure is often referred to as Tommy John surgery, named after the professional baseball player who had a remarkable recovery after his UCL reconstruction surgery, returning to the Big League.
This procedure uses tissue harvested from a tendon to reconstruct the UCL ligament. The donor tendon is connected to the humerus and ulna, restoring stability for the elbow. Recovery and rehabilitation are lengthy, but this procedure is the best option to restore elbow function and throwing strength for those with these severe injuries.
If you have suffered an ulnar collateral ligament tear, repair or reconstruction may be needed to restore function. Jonathan L. Glashow, MD orthopedic surgery and sports injury center in Miami, FL, offers Tommy John surgery for UCL tears. Contact our medical facility to schedule a UCL tear consultation with one of the country’s top orthopedic surgeons.