Ulnar Collateral Ligament reconstruction (Tommy John)

UCL injuries often happen during sports and fitness activities that can put stress on the inside part of the elbow:

  • Repetitive throwing or other overhead motions
  • Landing on the arm during a fall
  • Having a direct force or blow to the outside of the elbow that makes the elbow collapse inward

Risk factors

There are a number of factors that increase your risk of a medial ulnar collateral ligament injury:

  • Year-round throwing without allowing a period of down time for the arm
  • Throwing at very high velocities
  • High number of throws in a single day or back-to-back days
  • Improper throwing mechanics
  • Decreased shoulder range of motion or poor positioning of your shoulder blades
  • Participation in sports that require weight bearing on the arms (gymnastics)
  • Participation in contact sports where other athletes can fall into your elbow (football, wrestling, etc.)

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