The modified Jobe and docking techniques are the two most commonly used techniques for ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction among overhead athletes. However, no study has directly compared these techniques performed by a single surgeon. Current comparisons of these techniques have relied solely on systematic reviews and biomechanical studies.

There will be no difference in outcomes or return to play between the modified Jobe and docking techniques in elbow UCL reconstruction surgery. Twenty-five modified Jobe and 26 docking UCL-reconstructive surgical procedures were performed by a single surgeon, each with a minimum 2-year follow-up.

Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic (KJOC) score, Conway Scale, years played, sex, handedness, sport, position, palmaris versus gracilis graft type, concomitant or future arm / shoulder injuries, and need for additional surgery were compared between the groups. Patients who underwent future shoulder or elbow surgery, no matter the cause, were included.

Modified Jobe and docking reconstruction

No difference was seen between the modified Jobe and docking reconstruction cases in regard to KJOC scores (mean ± SD: 78.4 ± 19.5 vs 72.0 ± 26.0, P = .44), Conway Scale (return to play, any level: 84% vs 82 %, P = .61), years played (14.7 ± 6.2 vs. 15.2 ± 5.8, P = .52), sex (P = .67), handedness (P ≥ .999), sport (P = .44), position (P = .60), level of competition (P = .59), and future surgery (12% vs. 4%, P = .35).

Palmaris graft type had significantly higher KJOC scores than hamstring grafts (82.3 ± 20.0 vs 57.9 ± 21.2, P = .001). The mean follow-up was 6.1 years in the modified Jobe group and 7.3 years in the docking group (mean = 6.7, P = .47).

The modified Jobe and docking techniques are both suitable surgical options for elbow UCL reconstruction. There was no statistically significant difference between the techniques in regard to return to play, KJOC score, or need for subsequent surgery at 6.7-year follow-up. This is the first direct clinical comparison of these 2 techniques by a single surgeon at midterm follow-up.

No difference was found in KJOC scores, need for additional surgery, or return to play between the modified Jobe and docking UCL reconstruction techniques done by a single surgeon at 6.7-year follow-up.

Previous clinical studies found the modified Jobe and docking techniques to produce good outcomes, with varying results in biomechanical studies. No clinical studies have directly compared these two techniques by a single surgeon, and current comparisons relied on systematic reviews alone.