Inside Johan Santana's surgery

ESPN New York—April 5, 2012

Hospital for Special Surgery shares this exclusive behind-the-scenes video with footage from Johan Santana's anterior capsule surgery on Sept. 14, 2010, as their doctors narrate the procedure. The video shows the steps taken by HSS Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service doctors in treating professional athletes.

New York Mets announce that pitcher Johan Santana will undergo surgery to repair a tear of the anterior capsule on the left shoulder. David Altchek, M.D., performs the procedure on Santana at Hospital for Special Surgery.


Dr. Struan Coleman: We're there for the game, we watch the games as it goes on, And if there is any problem Ray Ramirez is the trainer who calls me. I go down to the club house we see the player in the training room. And do whatever is necessary. This was sort of a gradual injury. He started experiencing pain in the front of the shoulder. When he started complaining about it we saw him in the training room and just got him in for an mri.


Dr. David Altchek: This injury is a very specific injury. The only time we‘ve seen it occur without  major extrinsic trauma (ex. trauma applied to the body by impact) is in baseball, in the dominant arm the pitchers. What he did was tear the ligaments in the front of his shoulder. Literally tear the ligaments in the front part of the shoulder.

Surgical Treatment

Dr. David Altchek: So everything is going pretty much according to plan. Exactly what we anticipated. We are trying to do a minimal exposure here. We are cautiously optimistic about an excellent outcome here because the blood supply to this tissue, the ligaments in the front of the shoulders, is very good. The rehab afterwards will be to protect it so that it heals and then strengthen the shoulder so that he can throw again.  Johan looks unbelievable at this stage. He has unbelievably fluid motion and great strength.


Johan Santana: I know the difference between soreness and pain. So I am able to tell when something is not right. This was a whole new experience for me. I never had this kind of surgery before. I am very motivated about getting back into my throwing. Getting back into who I used to be but I know it is a slow process. I feel really good.

View the segment here


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