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About Elbow Ulnar Collateral Ligament Repair
Elbow Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction is a surgical technique used to repair the UCL  in the elbow. The procedure reconstructs the torn ligament in the elbow by replacing it with a tendon from another part of the body.

The aim of UCL reconstruction is to provide stability to the elbow, reduce pain, improve mobility, and restore the range of motion in the elbow.

This procedure is colloquially referred to as ‘Tommy John’ surgery because of the baseball player Tommy John who first underwent this surgery successfully.

Who Needs Elbow UCL Reconstruction?
Elbow UCL Reconstruction is commonly used to treat torn UCLs from overuse injury and trauma. The following patients are eligible to receive this treatment:

  • Patients who have been diagnosed with Elbow UCL Injury.
  • Patients who were prescribed non-surgical Elbow Ulnar Collateral Ligament treatment prior to considering surgery.
  • Patients who are showing no or minute signs of improvement with non-surgical treatments for Elbow UCL Injury.
  • Patients who have been using non-surgical treatment for more than 3 weeks without any success.
  • Patients who are experiencing a worsening of symptoms and a threat of permanent damage to the elbow.


Surgeons recommend surgical Elbow Ulnar Collateral Ligament treatment after exhausting all conservative treatments.

How Is It Performed?
The Elbow Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. This means that barring complications; the patient is discharged a few hours after the surgery.

Patients can expect the following steps in the Elbow UCL Reconstruction:

  • General anesthesia is administered to the patient.
  • A tendon graft is harvested from the patient’s own body or from a donor. The graft is commonly harvested from the hamstring tendon, Palmaris longus tendon from the forearm, and the big toe extensor tendon.
  • The surgeon makes a 3-4-inch-long incision on the outside of the elbow.
  • The surgeon carefully moves the muscles and ligaments aside to assess the damage to the tendon.
  • The surgeon removes damaged parts of the tendons and if possible, attach the remaining parts of the tendon together.
  • To implant the harvested tendon, two holes are drilled into the bones, which are connected by the Humerus and the Ulna.
  • The tendon graft is threaded through these holes and secured with sutures, screws, or buttons.
  • The tendon is commonly threaded using the docking technique, which is less invasive than the figure-eight techniques.
  • The incision is sutured closed, and the elbow is bandaged.
  • A hinged brace is also prescribed to provide support while the elbow heals.


You can receive reliable non-surgical and surgical treatment for UCL Injury at Complete Medical Wellness Center (CMW) in New Jersey. CMW is a medical facility, acknowledged for its premium services and empathetic patient care.

We are proud to boast a 90% success rate in all our surgical procedures. You will be provided:

  • A modern, comfortable medical facility.
  • Attentive staff.
  • Board-certified orthopedic surgeons.
  • A wide range of proven orthopedic treatments.
  • Diligent post-op care.


Schedule an online consultation with our orthopedic specialist and avail effective, reliable, and best orthopedic treatments in NJ.


What Is the Preferred Technique for Ulnar Collateral Ligament UCL Reconstruction?

  • The number of UCL injuries has increased in recent years; many athletes have undergone successful UCL Reconstructions.
  • The UCL Reconstruction technique, with a palmaris longus graft, also known as Tommy John surgery, has gained popularity and is the preferred treatment for ligament repairs.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From UCL Surgery?

  • UCL surgery recovery is divided into two phases.
    • During the first phase, patients can expect recovery in around six weeks.
    • During the second phase, strengthening exercises for elbow further heal and strengthen the UCL in six weeks.
  • Total recovery takes around 12 weeks.

Does Tommy John Surgery Make You Throw Harder?

  • UCL Reconstruction surgery is also widely known as Tommy John surgery, because of the baseball player Tommy John who first underwent this surgery successfully.
  • Many athletes consider the surgery will make their elbow strength greater then it was.
  • That is not the case; after recovery, you can expect to be just as strong as you were before the injury.

How Long Is UCL Surgery?

  • UCL Reconstruction surgery is usually and outpatient procedure. You can typically return home the same day.
  • The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and can takes from sixty to ninety minutes.
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