The Wrong Side of Tommy John Revision History

The San Diego Union-Tribune—September 21, 2015

The San Diego Union-Tribune's Jeff Sanders reports on 11 professional baseball players who had their elbow reconstruction repaired in 2014. The article also indicates that of the 31 Major League pitchers who rehabbed Tommy John revisions between 1999 and 2014, 65 percent returned to pitch at least one game in the majors. The article also questions the reason why elbows repairs need to be completed multiple times.

"It's all speculative," said Dr. David Altchek, a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery and the medical director for the New York Mets. "The body responds to stress when the amount of stress is appropriate, so you don't want to wait too long to start stressing it. As the body heals and remodels itself, you need to stress these things a little bit."

Dr. Altchek also notes, "The most common reason we see a (Tommy John) failure is when a player feels pressure, for whatever reason, to get back early."

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