Tommy John Surgery Rehabilitation
If you have Tommy John surgery you will likely need physical therapy to return to full function. Furthermore, if you're weighing surgical options, talk to one of our highly trained San Mateo physical therapists to help you navigate this decision. To support youth athletes, Agile Physical Therapy will design individualized training programs and administer research-based performance tests. These tests detect imbalances in strength, power, and control to prevent/reduce injury.
Tommy John Rehab Process
Physical therapy post-operatively is an integral part of returning to full function. You should start physical therapy (PT) 1-3 days post-surgery to ensure you regain your range of motion and your first visit will look like this:
- Your PT will want to get to know you! They will ask for a detailed medical history including your future goals
- They will then assess at your strength, mobility, scar tissue, and flexibility to determine the best treatment plan
- They will share their findings and collaborate with you to make a plan that's directed toward your goals
- As you progress in therapy, your physical therapist will coach you in how hard to push by prescribing an individualized exercise program
- Using graded functional measures and prevention screens, your physical therapist and surgeon will guide you to safely return to your sport.
Recovery for Sports
Early on in recovery, the focus will be to manage pain, encourage healing, and maintain arm range of motion. As you progress in therapy, your will gradually increase elbow movement through manual therapy, gentle stretching, and range of motion exercises. Strengthening during this period will focus on the shoulder and wrist. In the 6-18 weeks phase, your physical therapist will have you work on general body conditioning and strength without stressing your affected elbow. At 18-24 weeks, you will begin directly strengthening the elbow and may begin long tossing within the specific parameters and soreness rules provided by research (usually progressing 45 feet 30-50 times per day).
All of these stages occur with your PT's and surgeon's collaboration and guidance. Your care team will work together to ensure the safest and best outcomes for your elbow.
San Mateo UCL Rehab
Tommy John surgery and rehabilitation can be an intimidating process. We get it and are here for you. We will work with you so we understand your goals and you understand the rehab process. Our empathetic and caring physical therapists believe that rehabilitation should be centered around adding more to your life – not taking things away. The best physical therapy care makes you feel better about your body, not worse. Read more about our treatment philosophy.