Injuries to the Thrower’s Elbow
Dr. Lintner has cared for the Houston Astros for since 1994 and is experienced in caring for throwers elbows, having done hundreds of UCL reconstructions (“Tommy John surgery”). The stresses on the pitcher’s elbow are high, and injuries are frequent. Risk factors include the volume of pitches, pitching while fatigued, and velocity of pitches. For youth pitchers the number of innings, number of teams played on, and year round baseball are additional risk factors.
Here is a video of a professional pitchers elbow arthroscopy. He has chips/loose bodies/debris that were causing pain and catching. After cleaning out the elbow he felt much better, though we are concerned that he may have trouble in the future.
The most common injuries to youth pitchers are to the growth plates. In older throwers the ulnar collateral ligament, flexor tendon, and ulnar nerve are the most commonly injured structures. Most baseball players have heard of the “Tommy John” surgery in which the UCL is rebuilt using another tendon. In experienced hands this surgery is quite reliable in restoring the ability to throw competitively. Dr. Lintner has peformed this surgery in youth, collegiate, and profesisonal throwers. Check out www.throwinginjuries.com for additional information.