Tommy John surgery
Named for former Major League Baseball pitcher Tommy John, Tommy John surgery is designed to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament, or UCL. The UCL is on the inner part of your elbow and helps to connect your upper arm bone to a bone in your forearm. When this ligament is torn – usually by repeated throwing motions, like pitching – the patient may experience an inability to perform certain motions.
UCL injuries most commonly occur in athletes. Tommy John surgery is designed to help these athletes regain their ability to perform by taking a healthy tendon from elsewhere in the body and using it to replace the damaged UCL tendon in the elbow.
Using today’s technology, an athlete can fully recover from a UCL injury with a Tommy John surgery. Contact your orthopedic surgeon at OSI to schedule a consultation and see if this surgery is recommended for your situation.
Total elbow arthroplasty
Total elbow arthroplasty is also known as total elbow replacement. This procedure involves replacing damaged bones in the elbow with artificial components made from metal and plastic. Candidates for total elbow arthroplasty suffer from pain and disability, usually caused by anything from degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis), rheumatoid arthritis, serious elbow injuries and fractures, and chronic instability.
Surgery is usually inpatient and may require a hospital stay of 2-4 days following the procedure. Your surgery will be followed by a rehabilitation program that will help you avoid stiffness, maintain range of motion, and gradually regain use of your arm.
For more information about a total elbow arthroplasty procedure, contact your orthopedic surgeon at OSI and see if this procedure may be appropriate for you.
Ulnar nerve decompression/transposition
The ulnar nerve is a nerve that runs down your inner arm, goes behind a bony prominence in your elbow (the medial epicondyle), and continues down to your hand. It is what produces the “funny bone” sensation when the inner elbow is bumped. As one of the main nerves in your arm, the ulnar nerve provides feeling and function to muscles in your arm and hand.
Sometimes, the ulnar nerve becomes pinched or compressed by the medial epicondyle or surrounding tissues, resulting in ongoing pain and weakness in the arm and hand. An ulnar nerve decompression or transposition are procedures in which the orthopedic surgeon decompresses and/or possibly relocates (transposes) the nerve to where it will no longer be compressed by the bone/tissues in your elbow.
Consult with an orthopedic surgeon to learn more about this technique and examine if this is a proper course of action for you.
Elbows may seem hard and resilient, but they can be just as prone to fracture as other parts of the body. A fracture of the elbow, if significant enough, can keep you from using that arm at all, or at least severely impact your mobility and function.
For minor fractures, rest and stabilization are all that are needed to heal the break. But orthopedic surgeons sometimes have to perform surgery on the break in order to repair it and help you regain function in your elbow and arm.
Our orthopedic surgeons are skilled at elbow fracture repair and can diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions affecting this important body part.
Arthroscopic surgery of the elbow is a minimally-invasive alternative to open surgery in which a tiny camera is inserted via a small incision into the affected area and used to diagnose and repair the damage in the elbow.
Since arthroscopic elbow surgery is less invasive, there’s potentially less pain and swelling with the operation than other techniques. You’ll also recover faster than with open surgery. It’s not recommended for all cases, but your orthopedic surgeon can tell you when arthroscopic surgery for your elbow would be the best course of action for you.