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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  • You can start the CRUNCH EARLY AM REPORTER. Then you can blog to yourself, and argue with yourself about Jon Lester.

    The E-Man 41 min 19 sec ago view
  • my current job has me coming in at 7am (eastern)...i miss staying up til 2am to watch west coast games.

    crunch 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • Remember when west coast road trips were a good time to catch up on some reading?

    Old and Blue 2 hours 41 min ago view
  • Taboola field is more appropriate.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 41 min ago view
  • we can only hope...

    The things you have to do to pay for James Shields contract.

    Rob G. 3 hours 23 min ago view
  • I wonder if they'll have to make use of the Guaranteed Rate logo, which is a giant red arrow pointing downward.
    https://www.guaranteedrate.com

    Brick 3 hours 28 min ago view
  • unsurprisingly, the White Sox continue a tradition of stupid stuff....

    @DannyEcker BREAKING: Guaranteed Rate has purchased naming rights to U.S. Cellular Field. Will be known as Guaranteed Rate Field thru 2030.

    Rob G. 3 hours 31 min ago view
  • that was a very kind 3rd strike to hendricks to end the 3rd.

    man on 3rd, 0 outs and got 2 pop-ups and a K...Maddux-lite indeed

    Rob G. 3 hours 41 min ago view
  • how did Fowler not score from 2nd on a double?

    by making bad decisions...

    Rob G. 3 hours 48 min ago view
  • he held on a popup (in case he needed to tag up) that bounced off the wall then jogged to 3rd. there were 0 outs so that probably played into the casual nature of how he played it.

    crunch 4 hours 22 sec ago view
  • Not watching -- how did Fowler not score from 2nd on a double?

    billybucks 4 hours 19 min ago view
  • uh, Fowler?

    Rob G. 4 hours 39 min ago view
  • Well I assume Ross is going to catch Lester in the playoffs, and it looks like Contreras is going to catch everyone else. I could see the Cubs keeping three catchers on the playoff roster as it would give them flexibility and Montero would have a left handed bat with some pop (at least historically) off the bench.

    Rob Richardson 5 hours 43 min ago view
  • Aren't Montero and Ross already in a tie for third catcher?

    Charlie 5 hours 50 min ago view
  • Higher than Chris Perez's mailbox.

    John Beasley 5 hours 57 min ago view
  • Contreras starting at catcher for a day game after he caught the night before. What do people think the odds are that Montero is left off the post-season roster, or is at best the third catcher?

    Rob Richardson 6 hours 25 min ago view