Tommy John Surgery Newsbeat
Friday, May 30, 2014
Noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews has performed numerous Tommy John surgeries on the elbows of baseball players. Dr. Kevin Wilk, his longtime physical therapist colleague, has overseen the rehabilitation of many of these athletes following the procedure.
And after witnessing an increasing number of throwers seeking Tommy John surgery at progressively younger ages, Andrews and Wilk are trying to stem the tide of these devastating injuries at the youth level by teaming up to develop an iOS application designed to educate players, parents and coaches on how to prevent throwing injuries.
The app, Throw Like a Pro, will be released in the coming weeks. When available, it will feature four main elements, all centered around scientific data and input from Andrews and Wilk.
Won’t this be bad for business, Doc?
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Not a long statement but it’s informative.
During the past few years there has been an “epidemic” rise in the number of professional pitchers requiring ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (“Tommy John surgery”).1 This is like déjà vu, as a similar sharp rise was seen in adolescent pitchers near the turn of the century.2,3 These two rises are indeed connected; that is, today’s pro pitcher in his 20’s was an adolescent pitcher a dozen years ago. Thus in many cases, the injury leading to Tommy John surgery in today’s young pro pitchers actually began while they were adolescent amateurs. Observations by orthopaedic surgeons support this link, as the torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in a pro pitcher usually looks like it has worn out over time.
Hat tip to Hardball Talk.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
For all the progress made by science and mathematics in countless areas of baseball, the prediction and prevention of injuries — particularly those to pitchers like Fernandez — remain a frustrating mystery. In a game where everything is dissected with painstaking rigor, not even sabermetricians have been able to make much headway in reducing the rate at which pitchers get hurt. They’ve been at it for more than a decade, and they’re as stymied as the rest.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
If you want to lower the mound, knock yourself out. If you think this will cure the “epidemic” I have a bottle of Arm Cure Vapor that I want to sell you.
It’s time to act again. We have reached a convergence of the biggest on-field problems affecting baseball: the increase in strikeouts, the drag on offense and pace of play caused by increased bullpen usage and the epidemic of Tommy John surgeries on young pitchers. All of those problems can be addressed by lowering the mound. Baseball shouldn’t wait for more young stars to blow out their elbows before deciding to do something about it.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
we’ve already seen 14 major league pitchers undergo Tommy John surgery just this year. And two others are scheduled to have surgery next week: Yankees starter Ivan Nova and Rangers reliever Pedro Figueroa.
And this is happening in a sport that averaged fewer than 16 of those surgeries per year between 2000 and 2011.
Grover Alexander used to rub horse lineament on his arm.
Friday, April 25, 2014
As the recent rash of season-ending injuries indicates, we’re a long way from figuring out when a pitcher is about to break. Not every injury is preceded by a warning sign, and not every red flag reveals a real problem. Many pitcher injuries are the result of cumulative wear and tear, but the process often culminates in one pitch, followed by a pop or a sharp pain and an arm clutched tightly on the trip back to the dugout. From there, it’s just a matter of time until the Twitpic from the operating table.
What if teams could anticipate and avoid the delivery that pushes the pitcher too far? Could early detection, early removal, and time off for rest and rehab preserve a ligament that’s on its last legs but hasn’t yet passed the point of no return?
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Interesting interview with Dr. James Andrews about Tommy John surgery where he talks about how many players are developing elbow issues as children.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
An MRI on Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin’s left elbow showed a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, the team announced Sunday, and it appears he could be headed toward season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Even if he doesn’t need surgery, Corbin likely won’t be pitching anytime soon, a crushing blow for a team with designs on contending in the National League West.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Take that Michael the Kay and your daily “pitchers sometimes throw harder after Tommy John surgery!” jive.
Major League Baseball players who undergo Tommy John surgery are less likely to regain the performance level they had before surgery, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.
The study is the first to show a link between the surgery and declining pitching performance at the professional level. It also involved the largest cohort of professional pitchers to date to examine the issue.
Researchers analyzed pitching statistics of 168 MLB pitchers before and after surgery between 1982 and 2010 and found diminishing returns in three major pitching categories: Earned runs average (ERA), walks and hits per inning pitched (WHIP) and innings pitched (IP). The findings:
• ERA increased 4.15 to 4.74.
• WHIP increased 1.40 to 1.48.
• IP declined 59 to 50.
“Tommy John surgery is an effective surgery and most pitchers get back to pitching after surgery. But it’s not going to improve their level of performance,” says Vasilios (Bill) Moutzouros, M.D., a Henry Ford orthopedic surgeon and the study’s senior author.
“There’s been a perception that the surgery will make you better. Our findings debunk that perception. Eighty to 90 percent of major league pitchers will get back to pitching at the major league level but they just won’t be as effective as they were before injury.”
Oooh, look…win percentage!
Drs. Moutzouros and Keller used paired analysis, generalized estimating equation model and other commonly used research tests to evaluate the data. Other highlights:
• UCL pitchers were “statistically better” than the control group in ERA, WHIP, IP and win percentage in the three years and two years before surgery.
• In the year before surgery, UCL pitchers’ performance declined significantly.
• After surgery, the control group was either superior in nearly every performance measure or no difference observed.
• A predictor of surgery is MLB experience. Sixty percent of pitchers required UCL reconstruction within their first five years in the MLB.
Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:36 AM | 56 comment(s)
tommy john surgery
Sunday, March 09, 2014
A swooning ode to the late inventor of Tommy John surgery asks why fans treat it so differently than steroid use.
A mere whiff of steroid use is enough to sully the reputation of any athlete, whereas players who recover from TJS are praised for their perseverance. But what could be more unnatural, or provide a bigger advantage, than cutting a tendon out of a wrist or leg and inserting it into an elbow?
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