Study: Innings limit for post-op Tommy John patients may be unnecessary: 4 thoughts

Written by Eric Oliver | August 25, 2016 | Print  |

A study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, claims that inning limits for pitchers who have recovered from Tommy John surgery may be unnecessary.

Here's what you should know.


1. The study was conducted by several Rush University Medical Center physician-scientists including Anthony Romeo, MD, Nikhil Verma, MD, Charles Bush-Joseph, MD, Bernard Bach Jr., MD, Gregory Cvetanovich, MD, and Brandon Erickson, MD.


2. Throughout professional baseball, it was suggested that the number of innings a pitcher who underwent Tommy John surgery could pitch post-operatively their first year back should be limited.


The researchers found that limit may be unnecessary.


3. The researchers examined all MLB pitchers between 1974 and 2015 who pitched a full season following Tommy John surgery. They analyzed pitch and innings counts data over the pitchers' total careers. Of the 154 pitchers in the study, only 19 underwent revision UCLR.


4. According to Dr. Romeo, approximately 20 percent of the pitchers do not achieve their pre-injury level of performance. The ones who do take an average of 15 months or longer to do so. He said, "Preventing a second injury to the elbow is critical as revision surgery is much less successful at returning the pitcher to the same level of play. However, it does not appear that instituting limits on the number of innings played after a full return to pitching has an impact on preventing revision UCLR surgery."


More news related to sports medicine:
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Examining the rash of UCL tears & how to prevent them: Drs. Neal ElAttrache, Steve Jordan & Luga Podesta

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