Have you ever heard of Dr. Frank Jobe? If you don’t know the name, he was the surgeon who performed the first ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction when he operated on major league pitcher Tommy John 40 years ago. He is quite literally responsible for saving the collective pitching lives for hundreds of current major league pitchers. Although there are varying surgical techniques currently in the literature, they all had their birth from the one Dr. Jobe performed in 1974.
Dr. Jobe has also influenced the world of physical therapy in many ways. He understood that rehabilitation was an extremely important part of the process, and that his surgery could not fix it all. His research helped PTs across the world who work with baseball players to understand the influence of the rotator cuff and prime movers on the throwing motion. Thanks to his work, we’ve been able to qualify the concept of training the small muscles for endurance and the large muscles for power.
Although I never had the opportunity to personally meet Dr. Jobe, I feel like I knew him. The relationship that I built through reading his research and understanding his teachings helped to make me the PT that I am today. I am deeply saddened to learn of his passing, and perhaps I am even more saddened because I will never have the chance to say thank you for the influence that he has had on my life and my career.
Thank you, Dr. Jobe. You will be missed.
Photo credit: Insidesocal.com / April 24, 2012