Somewhere right now, John Fogerty’s Centerfield is playing, someone’s breaking out a fresh bag of sunflower seeds, and home plate is bright and clean – the signs that baseball season is here and ready to go!
Every year, without fail, you can see or hear about Tommy John surgery on ESPN or some other web source – this surgical procedure to reconstruct a ligament (the ulnar collateral ligament) in the elbow has become a readily recognized term due to its proliferation among baseball athletes. What’s more concerning is that in the last couple of decades, we’ve seen a tremendous spike in the number of these being performed on young athlete.Why is this concerning? Two common things associated with this surgery are pitching mechanics and excessive volume (I.e., overuse). Especially in young athletes, we’ve seen pitching volume to be a big factor in injuries that lead to this surgery. And why does the surgery matter? Having a Tommy John procedure usually leads to being out of throwing for around a year – that’s a long time off of the diamond!
Fortunately, we have some solid guidelines produced from one of the best – Dr. James Andrews (known internationally for his surgical acumen and research on multiple things including Tommy John surgery). If you or someone you know is involved with youth baseball, this is an absolute can’t-miss resource to promote the health and safety of our young athletes.
Have more specific questions about staying healthy during baseball season? Give our clinic a call to set up a time to chat with our provider!