Tommy John surgery


Tom·​my John surgery ˈtä-mē-ˈjän- How to pronounce Tommy John surgery (audio)
plural Tommy John surgeries
: a surgical procedure in which a torn ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow is replaced with a tendon graft typically obtained from a superficial muscle of the forearm : ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction
Dr. Timothy Kremchek, the medical director for the Cincinnati Reds, specializes in an elbow-ligament reconstruction procedure commonly known as Tommy John surgery, named for the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher who first underwent it, in 1974.Sara Corbett
But as an outfielder he hurt his throwing arm and had to have Tommy John surgery before the year was out.Kelli Anderson

Examples of Tommy John surgery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ohtani, who is a free agent, will spend the rest of his offseason recovering and rehabilitating from his second Tommy John surgery. Sarah Valenzuela, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 Ohtani, who tore his UCL in 2018, also resumed DH responsibilities by May 2019 after having Tommy John surgery in the offseason. Sarah Valenzuela, Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2023 In 2022, Bauer never returned, Scherzer departed as a free agent, Buehler went down with an elbow injury that eventually required Tommy John surgery, and May and Gonsolin were limited physically in the playoffs. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 22 Oct. 2023 Walker Buehler, who pitched 208 innings two years ago, is working his way back from Tommy John surgery. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 10 Oct. 2023 Ohtani came back after his first Tommy John surgery, of course. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 23 Sep. 2023 Even with Shane McClanahan out for the season after Tommy John surgery, the Rays have a rotation topped by Tyler Glasnow, Zach Eflin, and Civale. Peter Abraham,, 9 Sep. 2023 Gose, under a minor league deal, is recovering from Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 16 Sep. 2023 Not to be confused with multi-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, who came from the Mets to help stabilize the rotation, only to be lost for the season to Tommy John surgery. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 14 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Tommy John surgery.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


after Tommy John (Thomas Edward John, Jr. born 1943), U.S. baseball player who underwent the surgery in 1974

First Known Use

1984, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Tommy John surgery was in 1984

Dictionary Entries Near Tommy John surgery

Cite this Entry

“Tommy John surgery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition

Tommy John surgery

Tom·​my John surgery ˈtäm-ē-ˈjän- How to pronounce Tommy John surgery (audio)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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