UCL Repair With Internal Brace Construction

The New Tommy John Surgery That Could Change Baseball


Jeffrey R. Dugas, M.D.

For nearly half a century, a UCL injury has meant complete elbow reconstruction for pitchers—and over a year of rehab. Thanks to an enterprising doctor and some very high-quality tape, that is finally changing.

Dr. Jeff Dugas has scrubbed in for about 2,000 surgeries on the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow. He reconstructs the injured ligament with a tendon grafted from the patient's forearm or leg.

New Tommy John Surgery Alternative Has Potential to Cut Rehab Time in Half


Jeffrey R. Dugas, M.D.

Elbow pain is a pitcher's worst nightmare. Why? It could mean that you are out for an entire season or more recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Tommy John surgery is the procedure performed to repair a damaged ulnar collateral ligament, which is a triangle-shaped ligament in the elbow that helps stabilize the joint. Unfortunately, this injury is far too common. Pitchers, coaches and baseball organizations need to do a better job of preventing the injury from occurring in the first place.

Baseball's Next Miracle Surgery


Jeffrey R. Dugas, M.D.

“It’s a game changer.”

That phrase is often just hype, but when you hear it come from not one, but four of the top orthopedic surgeons in the country, it’s time to take note.

True changes in sports medicine come about once in a generation. Tommy John surgery, the arthroscope, the use of orthobiologic agents  — these innovations are now part of the sports medicine landscape, and regularly help athletes come back from injuries that were career-altering or even career-ending not that long ago.

The first throws towards innovation — UCL repair with internal brace construction developing as option for select patients

Becker's Orthopedic Review

Jeffrey R. Dugas, M.D.

For decades, athletes had only one option if they tore their ulnar collateral ligament; reconstructive surgery, better known as Tommy John surgery.

However, another option is now emerging as a viable alternative: UCL repair with internal brace construction.

Dr. Jeff Dugas Discusses UCL Repair w/ The Ringer MLB Show

The Ringer MLB Show

Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann bring back Baseball Prospectus writer Meg Rowley for a second round of “What Did Dipoto Do?” after another active week for the Mariners GM (1:46). Then they talk to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Dugas about a pivotal test of a new procedure that could repair pitchers’ elbows much more quickly than Tommy John surgery (12:20).

Note: Dr. Dugas' in-depth, radio interview starts at 12:20 within the show segment.