Monday, March 2, 2015

Do We Have a Clearer View on Tommy John Surgery?

Glenn Flesig is a an in jury expert in the field of sports medicine and has turned his attention to the growing epidemic of the Tommy John Surgery that is ravaging Major League Baseball. Flesig presented his findings at the annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference that Tommy John surgery may be starting at a very young age. First, who is Flesig and why should we believe a word that he says? Flesig has a doctorate in biomedical engineering and has been working with Dr. James Andrews at the American Sports Medical Institute while gathering information for the presentation.

Flesig has reported that 16% of MLB pitchers go under the knife at least once for Tommy John surgery and has reported what we already knew, the success rate and "back to normalcy" ratio is now through the roof. Flesig notes that youth pitchers who threw more than 80 pitches in a game were four times as likely to require the surgery in their life. Those pitchers who pitched at least eight month a year were five times as likely to require the surgery.

Flesig notes that pitching while fatigued is the biggest factor in the surgery as youth pitchers who admitted to pitching with fatigue are a staggering 36 times more likely to have the surgery. I am a father of two young boys and this is eye opening to me. Some blame the mounds being lowered, some blame the schedule, the ball, the five man rotation, whatever. Me personally though I am going to be safe rather than sorry and teach them how to play shortstop rather than pitching.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)