Physical Therapy in Smithtown

Physical Therapy in Smithtown

Tommy John Surgery

Have you ever heard of Tommy John Surgery? If so, you probably know that Tommy John Surgery (TJS) is extremely common among athletes- specifically baseball pitchers.  TJS involves the reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in the elbow. During this procedure, the surgeon uses a tendon from somewhere in the patient’s body to replace the injured ligament in the elbow.

When the ligament has acquired too many tears over time, pain and instability develop within the joint- sometimes requiring what is called “Tommy John Surgery.”

Rehabilitation of this area can be done with a physical therapist. If you’re looking for a great PT to help deal with the aftermath of TJS, contact us at Island Sports Physical Therapy in East Meadow or any of our other locations.


What should I expect after surgery?

The entire rehabilitation process will most likely take up to one year– possibly longer.

Some TJS procedures follow a three-phase rehabilitation which includes:


Phase 1

(Immediately following surgery)

  • Your elbow will be immobilized in a brace positioned at a 60 to 90-degree angle for about 1-2 weeks following your surgery.
  • Your doctor and physical therapist might recommend that you begin rehab by doing range-of-motion exercises.

Phase 2

(After the first 1-2 weeks)

  • A range of motion is the primary focus of physical therapy at this point.
  • You may wear an arm sling for comfort, or a hinged brace.

Phase 3

(The end of the first month following surgery)

  • About 6 weeks post-operation, you may be advised to begin strengthening exercises.
  • You may be able to fully extend your elbow.

At Island Sports Physical Therapy in East Meadow and all of our other locations as well, we provide sports specific therapy including specific sports training to get you back to playing your sport following your Tommy John Surgery. The goal of TJS is to ultimately restore function without pain, increase a range of motion and stability, and prevent further damage to the elbow joint. If you or someone you know recently had Tommy John Surgery, please contact us here to make an appointment with one of our physical therapists to begin the rehabilitation process.