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Sean Golden
Sean Golden wears an arm brace to help himself heal from Tommy John Surgery. Photo by Hailey Wilson.
Foothill HS baseball player gets Tommy John Surgery

Procedure is named after famous Major League player.

Sean Golden, a senior short-stop and pitcher on the Foothill High School baseball team, recently had Tommy John Surgery. The surgery is named after a former pitcher of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tommy John, whose first surgery was in 1974. Dr. Frank Jobe is the first doctor to do this type of procedure.

Tommy John's surgery was a success and he started pitching again in 1976 for the Dodgers. The success rate for this type of procedure is roughly 80%: Four of five people will be able to pitch again normally or better.

The surgery is also known as Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction (UCL). It is a procedure dealing with the elbow ligament. This surgery is mostly performed on pro athletes and college students. It takes roughly about one year to heal.

For Golden, his injury happened over time. The pain started when he was around the age of 10 or 11 years old. Only certain pitches made his elbow ligament hurt. If he pitched the ball normally, then it didn’t hurt, but it still affected the ligament.

Roughly three or four years later, Golden’s arm could not go straight. He went to see doctors and they told him that he needed surgery on his elbow ligament. In that moment, Golden thought that he couldn’t play baseball again, but then the doctor told him that he is able to have Tommy John Surgery. The surgery would most likely let him play again and the people that had this surgery also came back the same, and some even better.

In August of 2015, Golden went into surgery and it was a success. After the surgery, Golden needed to wear a DonJoy X-Act ROM Elbow brace to avoid damaging the elbow during the healing process. This immobilized for a certain period of time.

“In roughly one year,” says Golden, “I can start throwing 90 mph balls like I used to, maybe even faster and better.”

He is healing well and hopefully he will make a full recovery. While not being able to play for the Foothill Mustangs during his recovery, he is planning of playing for Sac City his freshman or sophomore year in college.



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