Tommy John (Ulnar Collateral Ligament) Surgery

Stretching: The Truth

I'm planning on a series of articles to update our readers on some of the current concepts in pitcher related injuries and diagnoses that most fans have not heard much about.

We've all had our fill of reading about pitchers with rotator cuff and glenoid labrum tears. There are some interesting trends in sportsmedicine that have lead to changes in exercise programs throughout the majors and minors in an attempt to protect pitchers from a cascade of preventable injuries most fans don't know about.

Diagnoses such as:

GIRD: (Glenohumeral Internal Rotation Deficit...not to be confused with the stomach malady also known as GERD which Cubs fans get from watching too many losses). Pitching (both cocking phase and deceleration phase) leading to a tight or thickened posterior shoulder capsular ligament plus a loose anterior capsule and loss of internal rotation of the shoulder. Extra external rotation of the shoulder develops at the expense of internal rotation.

Scapular Dyskinesia: Shoulder blade weakness with altered kinematics.

Internal Impingement: Thought to be related to posterior shoulder contracture from GIRD with subsequent instability of the shoulder as the humeral head (ball of the shoulder joint) which shifts back/posteriorly and upward/superiorly). This is a different entity from subacromial or rotator cuff impingement which is more common and typically occurs from friction outside the shoulder joint.

...and finally connecting the dots, sorting out how the the injured or weakened shoulder (scapula) leads to severe strain on the elbow and tearing of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (aka the Tommy John injury).

My attention to this topic started last summer, when  I heard a remarkable interview on XM radio with renown Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Craig D. Morgan with hosts Jim Memolo and Rob Dibble. The focus of the interview was Stephen Strasburg's shoulder tightness and the subsequent ulnar collateral ligament elbow injury that lead to "Tommy John" reconstruction of that ligament last summer. Dr. Morgan said that he had predicted elbow problems in Strasburg by watching the way he held his shoulder.

More on how the arm bone is connected to the...after the jump.

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  • Rob Richardson 4 hours 17 min ago view
  • Can't teach height and thinness

    jacos 6 hours 12 min ago view
  • Hopefully Pirates don't call up A. Lincoln.

    jacos 15 hours 43 min ago view
  • j.buchanan going friday...should be...baseball...or something like it.

    crunch 15 hours 50 min ago view
  • Wow. I didn't know they could do that.

    Nice for Willson, not so much for Addy.

    billybucks 16 hours 7 min ago view
  • Game is officially called...also officially a tie.

    Stats count, no make-up date of course.

     

    Rob G. 16 hours 8 min ago view
  • Yeah -- seeing the weather -- I hope KB and Rizz are inside, wrapped in blankets and drinking hot chocolate.

    billybucks 16 hours 55 min ago view
  • rain delay...thanks obama.

    crunch 17 hours 33 min ago view
  • Thanks again Phil. We actually were in Mesa and drove around. Hopefully, I am back for some Fall League. If not I have all of spring training (like the smart people who move here!)

    rvimpeny 18 hours 37 min ago view
  • What Rob G said.  I can't speak for Piittsburgh, but the other end of the state has had absolute crap weather for two days. Perfect day to take it easy.

    Transmission 18 hours 40 min ago view
  • tarp came off 10 minutes ago...let's do this.

    crunch 18 hours 55 min ago view
  • He will not pitch another game for Cubs

    /Unless injury in playoffs

    jacos 19 hours 11 min ago view
  • ~fart~

    jacos 19 hours 12 min ago view
  • Today is bullpen day

    jacos 19 hours 12 min ago view
  • 10/450 if they win WS

    jacos 19 hours 13 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]
    Even though Hammel is missing start, don't assume he'll not be on #Cubs postseason roster. Maddon says elbow problem isn't that bad

    Carrie Muskat [email protected]
    Maddon on #Cubs postseason rotation: "I don't want to announce anything. We haven't talked to anybody yet"

    Carrie Muskat [email protected]
    Maddon hopes Soler can take BP in Cincy, play in sim game Tue. "All of that should give us some kind of indication of where he's at"

    crunch 19 hours 30 min ago view