Elbow Surgery Specialist

Dr. Patrick McCulloch

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Houston, TX

As a longtime team physician for the Houston Astros and Rice baseball teams, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Patrick McCulloch has gained extensive experience treating elbow injuries in the throwing athlete. He performs elbow surgery at three Houston, Texas, locations including Spring Valley, Bellaire, and the Texas Medical Center. For advanced expertise in elbow surgery, call to book an appointment today.

Elbow Surgery Q & A

What is elbow surgery?

Throughout his work with Major League Baseball and Rice University athletics, Dr. McCulloch has expertly performed many elbow surgeries in order to get athletes back on the field. He treats professional and recreational athletes alike with advanced elbow surgery procedures, including:

Elbow arthroscopy

Elbow arthroscopy is a minimally invasive technique that uses a thin fiber-optic camera, called an arthroscope, to look inside your joint. If Dr. McCulloch sees a problem, he can treat it with tiny surgical instruments that fit through an incision the size of a buttonhole. 

Dr. McCulloch uses arthroscopy to diagnose and treat many elbow problems, including tennis elbow and loose pieces of bone or cartilage in the joint. 

Tommy John surgery

Also known as ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction, is named after a baseball pitcher who was the first to undergo the procedure. UCL tears are common in athletes who play throwing sports like baseball and softball.

Tommy John surgery involves using a graft to reconstruct a torn ligament on the inner side of your elbow. Dr. McCulloch also performs primary repairs of the ligament using an internal brace in selected patients, dramatically reducing the recovery time.

Other elbow procedures Dr. McCulloch also performs biceps and triceps tendon repair surgeries. Biceps and triceps tendon tears at the elbow are not uncommon and usually result from heavy lifting or forceful pushing.

Why would I need elbow surgery?

Dr. McCulloch and his team take a conservative approach to treatment and use nonsurgical methods whenever appropriate.

However, they may recommend elbow surgery if your injury is severe or if the pain and symptoms don’t resolve with nonoperative treatments like physical therapy and biologic injections. Elbow surgery may also be necessary to help an athlete return to their sport.

What should I expect from elbow surgery?

First, Dr. McCulloch or a member of his team carefully evaluates your condition. They review your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical exam to ensure elbow surgery is the best approach to treatment. 

Most elbow surgeries require general anesthesia. The amount of time it takes depends on the specific procedure you need. After surgery, Dr. McCulloch and his team recommend a physical therapy and rehabilitation plan to help you regain strength and normal functioning in your elbow. 

If you think you may need elbow surgery, call the office of Dr. Patrick McCulloch to book an appointment today.