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More About UCL Tears/Tommy John Injury

You may have damage to the primary elbow ligament, called the ulnar collateral ligament, if you have these symptoms:

  • Arm pain with overhead motions (such as throwing)
  • Pain or tenderness on the inside of your elbow
  • Minor swelling on along the inside of your arm extending from the elbow
  • Numbness or tingling in your arm or elbow 

  • This type of elbow injury is commonly associated with baseball athletes. It's often referred to by the nickname to its treatment, as a Tommy John injury. The name came after the first such surgery was performed on a major league baseball player named Tommy John. The name stuck,since most Tommy John surgeries to fix elbows torn in sports-related injuries are being performed on teenagers, especially baseball pitchers, and the numbers are rising every year, a new study reports.

    Tommy John surgery fixes a torn ulnar collateral ligament, or UCL. The UCL is located on the inside of the elbow and connects the bone of the upper arm to a bone in the forearm.