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Tommy John Surgery You hear about this all the time in baseball This pitcher is going in for Tommy John surgery or otherwise known as a torn medial or ulner collateral ligament Pitching is a very unusual act The constant stress placed upon the arm throwing a baseball over and over is hard enough Plus these arent just fastballs that are thrown There are curves sliders forkballs split-fingers screwballs and so on After time all these pitches will take a toll on the arm The stress is placed exactly on the medial collateral ligament MCL in the elbow In some cases it can get so bad that the ligament will tear Eventually the pitcher will feel a dull ache in the elbow and then it will become painful Next an MRI is taken of the elbow to see what is going on If there is a tear then it is time for Tommy John surgery The ulnar collateral ligament is a band or sheet of fibrous tissue that connects two or more bones and supports the arm muscles used while pitching It is located on the inside of the elbow Dr Frank Jobe who was told to make something up by Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tommy John who was diagnosed with a career-threatening torn ulnar collateral ligament in 1974 Instead of just making something up Dr Frank Jobe made history Jobe extracted a tendon from Johns right arm and used it to replace the torn ligament on his left pitching arm They threaded the healthy tendon through holes drilled into the bone above and below the elbow Nobody was certain of the outcome because nobody had seen this done before Tommy John was 31 years old and had pitched for twelve previous seasons in the major leagues when he tore his ligament Johns surgery lasted four hours today it is much simpler and takes about an hour and a half The rehabilitation took Johns
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