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How Do You Know You Have Whiplash?

Does Acupuncture Really Work? 5 Common Myths Busted

Conditioning to Prevent Elbow Injury

Not-So-Funny Bone: Tips for Preventing Tennis & Golfer’s Elbow

Treating and Preventing Soccer Injuries

How to Prevent Shin Splints

Tips for After Knee Replacement Surgery

Dealing with Chronic Pain

What is a Tommy John Surgery?

How to Manage and Treat Your Hip Pain

Tips for Reducing Back Pain During Pregnancy

Tips for Avoiding Injury While Lifting Weights

Preventing and Treating Common Summer Sports Injuries in Calgary

Is Warming Up Before Exercise Necessary?

Proper Office Chair Posture

High Heels & Your Health

Chiropractic Care for the Elderly

Benefits of Massage Therapy

Common Hockey Injuries & Treatment

Dealing with Ankle Pain

Runner’s Knee

Contact Sports Injuries

Tips to Reduce Back Pain

Managing Chronic Pain

Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries

Low Intensity Laser Therapy

What Is Orthotics?

Tips to Help Avoid Arthritis Pain

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Shockwave & Cold Laser Therapy

Back Pain Relief & Prevention

Sciatica Symptoms

Lower Back Pain Treatments

Back Pain in the Office

Back Strengthening & Cost Savings

Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Neck Pain

Pelvic Stabilization for Exercise

Reducing Back Pain for the Elderly

Resistance Exercise & Bone Turnover

Muscle Changes After Surgery

Reduce Chronic Back Pain with Rehabilitation

Strengthening for Low Back Pain

Effects of Exercise on Chronic Back Pain

Exercise Preventing Spinal Surgery

Effective Back Rehab

What Can a HydroMassage® Do for You?

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What is Tommy John Surgery?

Elbow pain

If you are a baseball fan, you have probably heard of the baseball pitcher Tommy John. His name is now used to describe a surgical procedure that helps treat individuals with severe elbow and shoulder pain in Calgary. Tommy John surgery, also referred to as UCL reconstruction, is commonly used on athletes, but can also be used on individuals suffering from overuse injuries to the UCL.



The Cause of UCL Injuries


Your UCL is located on the inside of your elbow. It is what connects your upper arm bone to the ulna. Even non-athletes can injure their UCL due to repetitive stress or trauma, but baseball pitchers often have the highest risk due to the throwing motion that twists, bends and stresses the ligaments in the arm.



Over time, the UCL can develop tears and eventually those tears reach a point where they can no longer hold the bones together tightly. Some sports that increase the risk for a UCL injury include:



  • Tennis
  • Baseball
  • Gymnastics
  • Softball
  • Football
  • Wrestling
  • Cheerleading
  • Soccer



Identifying a UCL injury is rather straightforward and the symptoms include:

  • Pain on the inside of the elbow
  • Tingling or numbness in the small finger or ring finger
  • Sense of looseness in the elbow
  • A decreased ability to throw an object



How the MLB Pitcher Surgery Works

This surgery requires taking a piece of tendon from somewhere else within your body, which can include:



  • Wrist
  • Forearm
  • Toe
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Achilles tendon
  • Thigh



If a tendon cannot be removed from your body, surgeons can use one that is donated or extract a cadaver tendon. Then, tunnels are drilled into the ulna and humerus and the tendon is grafted into the tunnels. It is woven into a figure-eight to reconstruct your ligament.



How Is There an Alternative to Tommy John Surgery?


Tommy John surgery is generally only reserved for professional athletes. Recovering from this surgery can take up to two years to return to your previous level of abilities. For the first four months, you may need to avoid any activities that can overstress the grafted tendon. Athletes are often able to start throwing balls lightly by four to five months post-surgery and by nine months they can throw in competition as long as they are pain-free and have regained their strength as well as their range-of-motion.



Injuries to the shoulder or chronic elbow pain that involve the UCL are first treated using non-invasive, conservative procedures. This can include rest, ice and anti-inflammatory drugs. Often you will go through physical therapy to help strengthen the muscles surrounding your UCL as well. Often, with proper treatment by a reputable pain clinic, elbow and shoulder pain can be dramatically reduced.


Alberta Back and Neck Rehab & Sports Injuries Clinic offers innovative treatments for shoulder and elbow pain in Calgary including shockwave therapy. If you think you have a UCL injury, come in for a no obligation consultation. Call us at 403-234-0040 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.

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