Live Tommy John Research Chat With Bradley Woodrum
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Bradley Woodrum
7:46
The throwing motion is a unique, unnatural motion.
I doubt civilians find themselves throwing that hard and that frequently to pop such a -- typically -- strong cluster of ligaments.
Ross
7:48
I heard players have a better chance of sustaining their career with today's TJS vs yesteryears surgery. What changed in the procedure?
Bradley Woodrum
7:48
One thing to remember is that when Dr. Job did the first TJS, he was making it up as he was going.
No one had done it before. No one had rehabbed from it before.
John and Job were very much pioneers in this.
7:49
It took a bunch of years and bunch of other guys willing to do this risky procedure before the best processes were decided on.
Nick
7:50
Does the fact that young pitchers at the High School level and collegiate level are having TJ surgery more frequently clncern you? What is the cause?
Bradley Woodrum
7:50
This is a bit out of my field, but yes and no.
Yes, I'm concerned because I worry that workload is the cause of these injuries.
7:51
High schoolers and college players put a LOT of mileage on their arms before going pro, and that can dramatically shorten their career earnings, while maximizing the school's earnings -- which is bad socio-economics.
7:52
By also no because the increased frequency in TJS among young guys is in part because the procedure is more accessible and lower risk now than in the 1970s and 80s.
Being able to fix your elbow and pitch another year before you graduate is awesome -- especially for those who never intended to go pro anyway.
Trotsky
7:53
Do you think Ervin Santana opting to rehab his partially torn UCL instead of TJS has contributed to him being less effective and do you see Masahiro Tanaka suffering the same fate?
Bradley Woodrum
7:53
That's hard to say, given the scope of my research.
That's definitely an area to expand it.
7:54
There is little guarantee either pitcher would recover fully from a TJS, though, so the risks of TJS needed to be weighed by the guys with the X-rays.
bb player
7:54
my shoulder aches. do i need tjs?
Bradley Woodrum
7:54
Probably not.
Your UCL is in your elbow.
Wil Szep
7:55
justin Verlander who had had shoulder injuries in the past few years... Do you think he may need the surgery any time soon?
Bradley Woodrum
7:55
That's possible, but one of the most interesting finds -- in my opinion -- was the uselessness of long-term injury history in predicting future TJS.
7:56
The theory I have to explain this is tweaking one's delivery.
If Verlander injures his collarbone and -- as a result -- begins to throw slightly differently, yeah, I could see that contributing to an UCL injury.
7:57
But if he has weathered his arm injuries and maintained his delivery -- something veterans are almost by default better at -- then no, I don't expect those past injuries precipitate him needing TJS.
Nick
7:58
Any advice to young pitchers at the High School level to decrease the chances of TJS?
Bradley Woodrum
7:58
Study math.
Jimmy
7:58
Follow up to the recovery question - what proportion of players make it back to being as good as they were before surgery? 60%?
Bradley Woodrum
7:59
I don't have the numbers in front of me -- and I could be wrong here -- but I believe it's lower than that.
For every player who comes back strong, there are just as many who make a few starts, struggle, plop back down to Triple-A, and then fade away.
8:00
Super elite pitchers, however, might be the exception to that rule. But maybe they come back worse, and it's just harder to notice because they are still quite good.
Jordan Leavitt
8:00
Yes so non athletes need the surgery. Many construction and cement workers do
Bradley Woodrum
8:00
TIL.
MattyMo
8:00
Do you think we will see someone complete 3 TJ procedures and pitch in a MLB game in our lifetime?
Bradley Woodrum
8:01
With the rate that recovery rates have been improving, sure. That player would have to have a LONG career though because they would need to:
A) Prove themselves worthy of the MLB
B) Miss a year
C) Miss another year
8:02
d) Miss another year
E) Once again prove themselves worthy of the MLB
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