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Leaders in Sports Medicine Host Preseason Discussion About Baseball Injuries - 2009

NEW YORK—January 26, 2009



Treatment, Rehabilitation and Performance Enhancement of the Baseball Player

To help athletic trainers and physical therapists understand the latest surgical advances and rehabilitative techniques available for pitchers and throwing athletes, Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City will host an educational event drawing on the expertise of its sports medicine and shoulder service.

Date: Friday, January 30, 2009
Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Place: Hospital for Special Surgery's Richard Menchel Education Center
535 E. 70th Street, Second floor
New York, New York 10021

“As pitchers and catchers report to training camp on February 14, physical therapists and athletic trainers will, once again, need to become well-versed in the myriad of potential injuries that may occur over the course of the season,” said David W. Altchek, M.D., Co-Chief of Special Surgery’s Sports Medicine Service. Dr. Altchek, who is also Medical Director of the New York Mets, will keynote the event and will discuss "Management of Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injury in Throwers." The topic focuses on what the sports world knows as "Tommy John Surgery" and Dr. Altchek will discuss advances he has made to this type of elbow surgery and review his outcomes.

Also on the agenda is Michael “Mickey” Levinson, PT, CSCS, Clinical Supervisor of the Sports Medicine, Performance and Research Center at Hospital for Special Surgery. Mr. Levinson, who works along side Dr. Altchek on the Mets’ medical team as a physical therapist, will discuss “Rehabilitation of the Throwing Shoulder.”

Considering the talent and financial pressures that go hand-in-hand with professional sports, it becomes easy to understand the pressures being placed on the team physicians to return the players to top form.

“The outcome measurement is very precise,” Dr. Altchek notes. “If these athletes fail to return at or above the same level as they were prior to injury, it’s a disaster, and it’s not acceptable.”

“Regardless of the athlete’s condition, returning to play after an injury is a very graduated process,” continued Dr. Altchek. Mickey and his team introduce specialized therapy and functional exercises and constantly monitor the athlete’s progress and comfort level. After these steps, they practice at low levels, and eventually, begin to play at low levels. Pitchers, for example, require extra caution, as they take a longer time to return to pitching at the same level in a game situation.

“It’s much different than pitching in the bullpen,” Mickey remarks.

Other highlights include HSS Sports Psychologist Jenny Susser, Ph.D., who will discuss the mental aspects of overcoming injuries and enhancing performance. Additional topics will include functional training for baseball players and tips for physicians on what to tell patients experiencing throwing-related injuries.


If you are interested in attending the event or if you would like to talk with Dr. Altchek or Mr. Levinson prior to the event, please contact Tracy Hickenbottom, Public Relations at Hospital for Special Surgery at (212) 606-1197, hickenbottomt@hss.edu. We also invite you to contact us throughout the baseball season if you would like to interview Dr. Altchek and other members of the HSS sports service when you are writing and need background on the full range of sports-related injuries.



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