Definition of Tommy John surgery in English:

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Tommy John surgery

Entry from US English dictionary


A surgical procedure in which a healthy tendon extracted from an arm (or sometimes a leg) is used to replace an arm’s torn ligament. The healthy tendon is threaded through holes drilled into the bone above and below the elbow.
Example sentences
  • Of 102 pitchers in the Braves ' organization, 22 have had Tommy John surgery.
  • No pitcher has ever come back successfully from a second Tommy John surgery.
  • In the early 1990s, Andrews estimates he did 50 Tommy John surgeries in a year.


1970s: named after Tommy John (1943–), a US major-league pitcher who, after a debilitating injury, was able to resume his career after undergoing this surgery. The procedure was devised specifically for John by US orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank Jobe in 1974.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Tom·my John sur·ger·y

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