Tommy John Surgery
September 28, 2015
Dr. Timothy Kremchek of Beacon Orthopaedics is part of the team that provides medical and orthopaedic coverage to the Cincinnati Reds, Louisville Bats, and Dayton Dragons, along with several college baseball teams. Dr. Kremchek has performed over one thousand Tommy John surgeries. First, though, let’s understand who Tommy John is.
Tommy John was a pitcher for the LA Dodgers. In 1974, he became the first person to undergo surgical reconstruction of his ulnar collateral ligament. This became known as “Tommy John surgery.” It becomes necessary because repetitive throwing can cause tearing in the ligament, resulting in pain on the inside of the elbow. This often results in numbness in the pinky and ring finger of the affected arm.
Most pitchers are unable to pitch at a high level due to this injury. Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction generally requires a tendon in the forearm to be transplanted to the elbow. While this sounds relatively simple, it is actually a very complex procedure. It is important to have an experienced physician perform the surgery, and to have physical therapists that know what they are doing.
When Tommy John had his surgery in 1974, he spent an entire year regaining his ability to pitch in the major leagues. With our experienced physical therapists, top quality physicians, and unbeatable recovery plans, we can get pitchers back in the game in about four months.
At Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Doctor Kremchek can perform Tommy John surgery in about an hour. Physical therapy starts the next day. For out of town patients wanting a very experienced physician to perform the surgery, we can provide a detailed recovery plan to their preferred local physical therapists.
For more information, please watch the video below. Doctor Tim Kremchek explains a little bit more about Tommy John Surgery and the injuries that lead to it.