Posts Tagged "UCL"

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Dr. James Andrews Explains The Tommny John Epidemic

Flickr-8006476237Dr. James Andrews, the renowned orthopaedic surgeon who founded Birmingham, Alabama’s American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), is one of the go-to guys for baseball players throughout the country when they suffer from shoulder or elbow issues. Last week Dr. Andrews published a position statement to explain the current “epidemic” of pitchers’ ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injures and the resultant Tommy John surgeries.

The Tommy John procedure entails the reconstruction of the elbow’s UCL – which is the ligament that stabilizes the inner aspect of the joint.

Andrews details the risk factors that predispose adolescent pitchers to UCL wear and tear. The primary concern is…

Another Pitcher Down – Bobby Parnell’s Partial UCL Tear

imgresAfter hearing that Mets’ closer, 29 year-old Bobby Parnell, was diagnosed with an incomplete medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear in his right elbow, one jumps to the logical conclusion that surgery is in his immediate future. That is especially so with a team physician – Dr. David Altchek – who pioneered a very successful modification of the original Tommy John procedure.

The first thing to realize is that the medial collateral ligament of the elbow is also known as the ulnar collateral ligament – or UCL – because of its attachments to the humerus and ulna at the inner (medial) elbow. Now that you know that, the first thought of any Mets’ fan might be that Matt Harvey recently succumbed to surgery to address the same injury (though perhaps the extent of the tears is not identical). Both men complained of primary symptoms in the forearm.

Matt Harvey resisted the knife initially and now, evidently, Parnell is following suit. The Mets tweeted that after having a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection, Parnell will rest for two weeks before beginning a throwing program, after which it will be determined whether surgery will be required.

Well, what do you think the outcome will be?

Matt Harvey’s Partial Tear: Surgery Now Or Chance It?

imagesIf Matt Harvey were an everyday guy pitching in a Central Park League and he opted to try conservative management after partially tearing his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), we wouldn’t give it a second thought.

With an uncertain outcome either way – and greater overall risks with surgery – what would he have to lose? It wouldn’t be as though his livelihood depended on the result. And, after all, if rehab alone didn’t wind up being the answer, surgery could be done later than sooner. The primary downside would be time spent or, depending on how you look at it, time lost.

My point exactly. It also appears to be a point made by Mets’ management, though the choice has rightly been left to the All Star.

Understanding Matt Harvey's Partial UCL Tear

imagesThe extraordinary stresses that pitchers place on the medial (inner) elbow – and the excessive loading of the region – can create inflammatory or degenerative conditions in a number of structures in the area. That may explain why Harvey’s symptoms were not initially localized to the UCL, which is the primary stabilizer of the elbow.

Joel Hanrahan: Flexor Tendon versus UCL

images-1231 year-old closer, Joel Hanrahan, has had a rough start to his tenure with the Red Sox after being acquired from the Pirates in the off-season. Now we know why – a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. There is always the possibility that once Dr. James Andrews is in the joint, it will be determined that the UCL is also involved.

Fixing The Flexor Tendon

colby lewisThere are a total of nine muscles located in the palm side of the forearm. Some play a role in flexing the wrist or fingers, while others rotate (pronate or supinate) the forearm. Some of these also assist with bending the elbow. These muscles are divided into three layers and the five in the outermost (superficial) and middle layers all attach at the inner elbow in what is known as a common flexor tendon.

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