The doctors call it a UCLR ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction. Baseball players and fans call it Tommy John surgery -- named after the pitcher (Los Angeles Dodgers) who was the first to have the surgery in 1974. It is one of the major advancements in sports medicine in the last quarter century.
Elbow joint replacement (also called elbow arthroplasty) can effectively treat the problems caused by arthritis of the elbow. The procedure is also becoming more widely used in aging adults to replace joints damaged by fractures. The artificial elbow is considered successful by more than 90 percent of patients who have elbow joint replacement.
Arthritis of the elbow has many causes, and there are many ways of treating the pain. These treatments can be very successful, at least for a while. But eventually the elbow can become so painful that nonsurgical treatments don't work anymore. At this point, your doctor may recommend surgery to fuse the elbow. Elbow fusion may also be necessary after severe trauma to the elbow. Fusion surgery is sometimes called arthrodesis.
Elbow arthritis may be surgically treated with a procedure called interposition arthroplasty. The term interposition means that new tissue is placed between the damaged surfaces of the elbow joint. In this surgery, tissue is taken from another source to fill in the space in the elbow joint. The soft tissue forms a false joint. This surgery has best results in younger people with healthy tissue around the elbow joint.