Ulnar Collateral Ligament Repair With Internal Brace (Tommy John Lite)

There are three different bones that make up your elbow. Those bones are the humerus, the ulna and the radius. There also are two major and important ligaments in your elbow, the ulnar collateral ligament and the lateral collateral ligament. The LCL is on the outside (lateral aspect) of the elbow, whereas the ulnar collateral ligament forms a triangular shape along the medial (inside aspect) elbow. It is common for athletes, particularly in baseball and gymnastics, to suffer ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries that may require Tommy John surgery as the UCL is the primary stabilizer of the elbow.

Types of UCL Repair Surgeries

For years, baseball players and other athletes have had surgery to repair their torn ulnar collateral ligaments. The most common type of surgery to fully reconstruct the UCL is Tommy John surgery as mastered by Dr. James Andrews where Dr. Anthony Scillia of NJOI did his fellowship training. Due to recent medical advancements, though, there is a new type of surgery that has shortened recovery time and increased performance after surgery. This type of surgery is called Ulnar Collateral Ligament Repair with Internal Brace.

What is Ulnar Collateral Ligament Repair with Internal Brace?

This new type of UCL surgery is groundbreaking that was developed by one of Dr. Scillia’s fellowship mentors Dr. Jeffrey Dugas. Not only does it repair the ligament, but it also adds extra structural support with a collagen coated fiber-tape that acts as an internal brace. This allows for a more rapid return to sport.  Typically, it takes over a year to recovery from UCL surgery, but with Ulnar Collateral Ligament Repair with Internal Brace it will take much less time to recover in many cases half the time.

Internal Brace Ligament Augmentation Repair

Internal Brace Ligament Augmentation Repair is performed by utilizing suture anchors in the sublime tubercle of the ulna and medial epicondyle of the humerus, to repair the ligament back to the bone. Furthermore, a small collagen-coated fiber-tape is passed through the anchors to offload the repair and provide additional support to the medial side of the elbow. The repaired ligament and fiber-tape are tensioned appropriately to allow for full range of motion in the elbow and to stabilize the elbow from the stress of overhead throwing such as in baseball and landing as in gymnastics. This Internal Brace ligament augmentation repair will allow the athlete to rehab more aggressively and quickly, which allows the athlete to return to his or her sport quicker than Tommy John surgery.

Ulnar Collateral Ligament Repair Preparation

Once you decide that this surgery is the best option for your injury, you will need to undergo a physical examination to make sure the surgery is necessary. This is performed as a same-day surgery with early rehabilitation in an elbow brace. You should not drink or eat anything after midnight the night before the surgery.

Tommy John Lite Surgery

You can read more about Tommy John Lite Surgery by clicking this link http://bit.ly/2sob2Fb.

UCL Repair with Internal Brace in New Jersey

Many baseball players and other athletes are choosing this option over conventional UCL repairs when possible because of the easier rehab and enhanced performance following rehab. If you are considering this option in New Jersey, the experienced physicians at New Jersey Orthopaedic Institute can perform this groundbreaking surgery. We are leaders of the orthopedic and sports medicine with locations throughout New Jersey. Don’t hesitate to request an appointment with us today to get started on your rehabilitation and recovery today.

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Meet The Team

Vincent K. McInerney, M.D.


Founding member, Vincent K. McInerney, M.D., graduated from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in 1977 with honors as one of the top medical students in his class.

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Anthony Festa, M.D.


Dr. Anthony Festa is an orthopaedic surgeon in his seventh year of practice at the New Jersey Orthopaedic Institute.

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Anthony J. Scillia, M.D.


Anthony J. Scillia M.D. is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon with subspecialty certification in sports medicine.

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Robert M. Palacios, M.D.


Dr. Robert Palacios is board-certified and fellowship trained, and has been specializing in outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine for over two decades.

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Craig Wright, M.D.


Craig Wright, MD joins New Jersey Orthopaedic Institute by way of Totowa, NJ where he was born and raised.

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John Callaghan, M.D.


John Callaghan, M.D. is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic trauma specialist. His expertise encompasses the treatment of acute traumatic injuries.

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504 Valley Rd. Ste 200 Wayne, NJ 07470

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45 Carey Ave. Butler, NJ 07405

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111 Madison Ave. Ste 400 Morristown, NJ 07962

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720 Rte. 202-206 Bridgewater, NJ 08807

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1900 Union Valley Rd Hewitt, NJ 07421