Posted on April 3, 2015

Putting On White GlovesWhat is Tommy John surgery? Dr. Sethi and Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers know. It is when an individual undergoes the reconstruction of a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Dr. Paul Sethi of ONS is a disciple of Dr. Frank Jobe, the man who did an ulnar collateral graft in Tommy John’s elbow in ’74 and so created the most famous baseball-medical connection since Lou Gehrig’s disease (also known as, ALS).

Another person to know in this field is Dr.Glenn Fleisig, a man who is well versed in this topic and has made a career out of arm injuries. He was recently interviewed in an article about the Tommy John surgery after a presentation at MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference about his collaborative study with Stan Conte of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The research in the study noted that the Tommy John surgery is becoming more common, as more pitchers had the surgery in 2014 than in the 90’s combined. Although the success rate of the surgery is high, 20 percent of pitchers never regain a full level of performance even after PT. Other topics covered in the interview include:

  • What causes tears and the surgeries that follow
  • Whether it is the arm speed or the pitcher has his forearm cocked that far back
  • How long should we expect a pitcher to be out after TJ nowadays
  • Overuse of the ligament
  • Risk Factors and more

Read the Grantland article in order to enjoy the full interview about the Tommy John surgery.