About two years ago, Paletta also started doing the “primary repair” option for elbow injuries that qualified. He has performed more than 50 of these surgeries, and he is working on a paper about his findings. There have been no failures, he said. Dugas, at Dr. James Andrews’ practice, performed his first “UCL repair with internal brace construction” in August 2013. Dugas has done around 150 of these surgeries and does not know of one that had to be redone or led to Tommy John.
For both surgeons, the average time of recovery has been 6˝ months instead of Tommy John’s 12 months or more. Paletta said 32 of the pitchers who he helped with a “primary repair” surgery have now pitched two seasons since the procedure.