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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How baseball players are trying stem cells to avoid Tommy John

Today, Garrett Richards is darting 98-mph fastballs again. “I feel as good as I ever have throwing a baseball,” he said Monday from Tempe Diablo Stadium, where the Los Angeles Angels, perhaps the most Tommy John-addled team in baseball, expect to break camp with Richards as their opening day starter. The 28-year-old is the latest player to turn to orthobiologics, the class of treatments that includes stem cells and PRP, in hopes of healing an injury. While clinical studies have shown great success with those who use orthobiologics, they are not yet a panacea for the pervasive elbow injuries in baseball for two reasons: They work only on partial ligament tears, like Richards’, and medical studies have yet to validate their efficacy independent of other treatments run concurrently.

The lack of knowledge as to how orthobiologics work inside the body – while the proteins in stem cells and platelets are believed to regrow damaged tissue, doctors have yet to isolate best practices for particular injuries – speaks to the difficulties in true medical advances. Still, the desire of Richards and others to avoid surgery lends orthobiologics enough credence to warrant further studies.

“I truly think this kind of treatment has significant potential,” said Dr. Neal ElAttrache, a longtime orthopedic surgeon at the Kerlan-Jobe clinic in Los Angeles who introduced orthobiologics to Major League Baseball when he injected PRP into the elbow of Dodgers reliever Takashi Saito in 2008.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2017 at 04:48 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: garrett richards, science, stem cell

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Surprising Way Jet Lag Impacts Major League Baseball Games

The most striking effect of jet lag was on poor defensive performance, exemplified best by home runs allowed by pitchers. An increased tendency to give up the long ball was seen among eastward travelers (but not westward travelers), and in both home and away groups. This single stat was enough to explain most of the jet lag effects observed in this study, and it was considered strong enough to negate home field advantage (call it “jet lag disadvantage”). In terms of actual numbers, jet lag-induced home runs resulted in increases between 0.1 and 0.2 runs per game. It may not sound like much, but in a 162 game schedule in which teams score anywhere between 700 to 800 total runs, that can made a big difference. The increases in home runs per game (0.107 for home teams and 0.073 for away teams) accounted for the majority (87 percent and 72 percent) of the extra runs allowed. That’s quite revealing.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2017 at 03:58 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: jet lag, science

 

 

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