New alternative to Tommy John surgery gets attention at U of R

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Doctors are curious about a new form of surgery that could help athletes recover more quickly.

The surgery has received more attention in the last few weeks, thanks to MLB pitcher Seth Maness who injured his elbow.

Maness' injury is not uncommon. However, instead of Tommy John surgery, Maness underwent a soft tissue repair for his elbow.

Tommy John surgery often requires up to 18 months for a patient to recover. This new surgery alternative would allow Maness to head back to the mound in less than eight months.

"The hope is, by preserving the native ligament, we can avoid a reconstruction," said Dr. Michael Maloney, M.D., Chief of UR Medicine Sports Medicine. "And that the hope would be that it can get back to its normal anatomy in a much shorter time period."

Dr. Maloney said the biggest question mark right now is long-term health effects. He said soft tissue repair is not a new technique, but it is when it comes to this particular elbow injury.

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