• Elbow Pain: What is Tommy John Surgery?

    An orthopaedic surgeon can perform Tommy John surgery, which involves the reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). The UCL is also known as the medial collateral ligament because the ligament is located on the side of the elbow that’s closest to the body, which is the medial side. Baseball fans are likely to associate Tommy John surgery with Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tommy John. He underwent the first UCL reconstruction in 1974, which was devised by orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Frank Jobe.

    Reasons for Tommy John Surgery

    A stretched or torn UCL can lead to symptoms such as pain, swelling, and bruising on the inside of the elbow. Sometimes, a UCL tear can lead to some loss of elbow movement. Uneven joint surfaces or loose fragments may cause a popping, grinding, or “catching” sensation. Most often, UCL tears affect pitchers and other athletes who use throwing motions frequently. These repetitive movements can gradually lead to the development of tiny tears in the UCL. Eventually, if left untreated, the UCL may rupture.

    Steps of Tommy John Surgery

    If it is not possible to repair the ligament or reattach it to the bone and the joint is unstable, an orthopaedic surgeon can replace it with a tendon taken from elsewhere in the patient’s body. Most commonly, UCL reconstruction is performed using a tendon from the wrist, toe, hamstring, foot, or other areas. The orthopaedic surgeon drills tunnels in the humerus and the ulna, through which the tendon is passed. Then, the tendon is carefully positioned to take the place of the ligament. Remaining tissue from the original ligament may be attached to the tendon to provide additional strength. After the orthopaedic surgery, the patient can expect an intensive rehabilitation period, which may sometimes take one to two years.

    At MK Orthopaedics , Tommy John surgery and rehabilitation are among our specialties. Our sports medicine specialist in Joliet stays abreast of the latest advances in medical technology to provide our patients with exceptional care. If you’ve suffered a sports injury, call (815) 741-6900 today to begin the process to recovery.

  • Exciting News!

    MK Orthopaedics ‘ Channahon, Illinois location is now open. Our wonderful team is now seeing patients!

  • Help! Wrist Pain Is Making My Life Miserable!

    Wrist arthroscopy is a procedure performed by an orthopaedic surgeon to diagnose the causes of wrist problems and to treat them. It is a minimally invasive surgery, which means the orthopaedic surgeon uses several small incisions instead of one large incision. There are many reasons why wrist arthroscopy may be the best solution.

    Is Surgery Right for Me?

    Wrist arthroscopy might be recommended for patients diagnosed with ganglion cysts, ligament tears, carpal tunnel syndrome, or wrist fractures. Although each of these orthopaedic conditions has their own set of symptoms, they are generally characterized by pain or discomfort in the area. They may develop after acute trauma, as in the case of a wrist fracture, or they may develop gradually over time, as with carpal tunnel syndrome. Additionally, wrist arthroscopy may be performed to explore an unknown cause of chronic wrist pain. In some cases, delaying diagnosis and treatment through wrist arthroscopy may result in worsening symptoms or new symptoms, such as increased pain or limited wrist movement.

    Preparation for Wrist Arthroscopy

    Patients will meet with an orthopaedic surgeon to discuss their symptoms, medications, and other medical conditions. They may be asked to stop taking certain medications and to make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking prior to the procedure. Patients may be asked to stop eating and drinking for a period of time before their surgery.

    Wrist Arthroscopy Procedure

    Wrist arthroscopy may be performed with either general or regional anesthesia. The orthopaedic surgeon creates two or more small incisions on the back of the wrist. Then, he or she inserts the arthroscope, which is a tiny camera, and other specialized instruments through the incisions. The surgeon can view the joint and surrounding structures through the arthroscope, which allows him or her to make or verify a diagnosis. The next steps in wrist arthroscopy will vary, depending on the causes of the symptoms. The surgeon may repair a torn ligament, remove the stalk on which ganglion cysts grow, or cut a ligament to enlarge the carpal tunnel.

    Wrist arthroscopy and other procedures of the wrist and hand are highly complex surgeries. With more than 20 years of experience performing delicate procedures, you can place your trust in the team at MK Orthopaedics. Call (815) 741-6900 to schedule a consultation with our orthopaedic doctor serving Shorewood or to inquire about our other healthcare services , including physical therapy and sports injury treatment.

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