Navigation Links
Dramatic increase in 'Tommy John' surgery in young patients cause for concern

ORLANDO, Florida Eighty-three percent of athletes who had "Tommy John" elbow reconstruction surgery were able to return to the same or better level of play, according to a study released today at the 2008 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting at JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes. While reassuring to athletes, the study authors find the trend of more and more young athletes requiring the surgery, alarming.

"Before 1997 this surgery was performed on only 12 of 97 patients who were 18 or younger (12 percent)," said co-author E. Lyle Cain, MD, fellowship director for the American Sports Medicine Institute, Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama. "In 2005 alone, 62 of the 188 operations performed, were on high school athletes, a third of the surgical group. The reality is that this surgery is successful and that's good. But a disturbing trend of younger kids needing the surgery is troubling. This should be a wake-up call to parents and coaches that specialization in baseball where kids don't get adequate time off is very dangerous."

"Tommy John" surgery is a procedure where a damaged elbow ligament (Ulnar Collateral Ligament or UCL) is replaced with a tendon from elsewhere in the body. The surgery is named for Hall of Fame pitcher Tommy John, who was the first person to have the surgery in 1974. John returned to the major leagues and went on to win 164 games after the surgery. Prior to this historic surgery, a UCL injury was a career-ending injury.

In the study, 743 patients who had the Tommy John surgery were contacted for follow-up evaluations and completed a questionnaire about their recovery. The majority of the patients were baseball players (94.5 percent), the remaining 5.5 percent were involved in track, football or other sports. The study found that 622 patients (83 percent) returned to the previous level of competition or higher. Of the major league players, 75.5 percent returned to the same level of play. For minor league players 56 percent returned to the same level or higher. The average time from surgery to full competition was 11.6 months after reconstruction, according to study results. Additionally about 10 percent of the patients had complications, mostly minor.

"The increase in the number of UCL reconstructions being done now can be attributed to many things: improved diagnostic techniques, heightened awareness, increased chance of positive outcome with current surgical techniques, but most importantly, the overuse of young throwing arms," said Dr. Cain. "In the past 10 years, year-round baseball leagues have proliferated. So the best young pitchers are throwing many more pitches and learning to throw more difficult pitches. It's great that the surgery is successful, but prevention of the injury should be the goal. Kids should be urged to rest and be careful about saving their arms, rather than leading to long-term problems at a young age."


Contact: Lisa Weisenberger
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. Expanding Prevalent Population Will Drive Dramatic Growth for the Asthma Drug Market in China
2. New Case Study Details How an Illinois Hospital Created a Safe Lifting Team that Dramatically Reduced Injuries, Increased Staff Satisfaction
3. Giving emergency nurses aromatherapy massages with music dramatically reduced stress levels
4. Batters may achieve dramatic increases in home runs through steroids
5. Giving emergency nurses aromatherapy massages with music dramatically reduced stress levels
6. Early intervention dramatically improves outcomes for new dialysis patients
7. UCLA Research Shows Dramatic Savings for Medicaid When Head Start Parents Learn to Care for Kids Illnesses
8. Dramatic Growth Projected in Visits by Elderly Patients to Emergency Departments Underscores Urgency of Medicare Physician Payment Fix
9. Phase III Trial of VELCADE(R) (Bortezomib) for Injection Showed Dramatic Fourfold Increase in Complete Remission Rates When Combined With the Most Commonly Used U.S. Regimen in Front-Line Multiple Myeloma
10. Technology can Dramatically Reduce Billions of Dollars in Medicaid, Medicare Fraud
11. New Research Shows Nutrition Programs Targeting Pregnancy and First 24 Months of Life Dramatically Improve Child Survival and Overall Health
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Finnleo, a leader ... Eve on several models of traditional and far-infrared saunas. , For traditional ... is the most traditional Finnish sauna wood, and Finnleo uses only European Grade A ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dr. John Pierce, Medical Director at ... hair loss treatment with the Capillus272™ Pro laser therapy cap. FDA cleared for safety ... fuller hair, without the need for surgery, prescription pills, or topical foams. , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... For the first time, Vitalalert is donating half ... ” campaign. The partnership between the two groups began in 2014 with Vitalalert pledging ... , MAP International was founded in 1954 and is an international Christian-based health organization ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would like to ... are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE course. Courses ... , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli and Dr. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Crystal Lake, IL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... pleased to announce a recent successful appellate decision obtained by Attorneys Francisco J. Botto ... the case Adcock v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 2015 IL App (2d) 130884WC. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Surface Marker Testing Market: Supplier Shares, ... their offering.  --> ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  The total global healthcare industry is expected to grow ... Latin America has the highest projected growth at ... Japan ), is second with growth projected at 11.5%. ... healthcare expenditure. In 2013-2014, total government funded healthcare was nearly ... to 41.2% in 2013-2014. In real terms, out of pocket ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... WASHINGTON , Nov. 25, 2015  The ... Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the March of ... bipartisan Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 ... the number of newborns born exposed to drugs, ... Since the bill,s introduction, all three organizations have ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: