Internationally recognized as the pioneer of the “Tommy John” surgery, Frank W. Jobe, MD, died March 6, 2014, in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 88 years old.
Dr. Jobe revolutionized elbow surgery when, in 1974, he replaced a ruptured medial collateral ligament in Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Tommy John’s elbow with a tendon from the player’s forearm. Prior to that time, such an injury was career-ending. Mr. John, however, went on to pitch for 14 years after the surgery.
Dr. Jobe is credited with not only prolonging the careers of dozens of professional baseball players, but for contributions to sports injury prevention that led to landmark changes in the prevention and treatment of athletic injuries in all sports.
Dr. Jobe earned his medical doctorate at Loma Linda University and served his orthopaedic residency at Los Angeles County Hospital. He was a clinical professor in the department of orthopedics, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and was the founder and medical director of the biomechanics laboratory at Centinela Hospital Medical Center, Los Angeles.
Among his numerous awards and accomplishments, Dr. Jobe was recognized by The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 2013 for his development of the Tommy John surgery. He was also an active member of the AAOS.