Posts Tagged "ulnar collateral ligament"

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Thumb UCL Sprains – Understanding Mike Trout’s Injury

Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels’ star outfielder, will undergo surgery tomorrow for a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his left thumb. The injury occurred – as most of these do in baseball – when the 25 year-old slid into second on a stolen-base attempt on Sunday. Trout, who throws and bats right handed, had an MRI later that day that confirmed the tear. This will be Trout’s first stint on the DL and it will be for a significant period.

We talk about the UCL at the elbow a great deal in baseball, as it is the ligament most often torn by pitchers and subsequently reconstructed with the Tommy John procedure. At the base of the thumb, just as at the elbow, the UCL

Why Tanaka's Latest Trip To The DL Is No Surprise

searchA partial tear of the UCL — also referred to as a moderate (Grade 2) sprain — causes laxity (looseness) of the ligament. This, in turn, creates joint instability. The resulting instability places even greater stress on the surrounding tissues. The tissues often impacted by medial elbow stresses include the wrist flexor muscles…

Is Tanaka's Return Enough of a Test?

searchEven if he successfully completes one or two 75-pitch-starts without complaint, there is no assurance that Tanaka will be able to avoid surgery. It is not likely that the tensile strength of his torn ligament is fully restored as of yet, and – even if he passes the first test – only repeated demands will determine the outcome. If these cumulative demands exceed the ability of the ligament to withstand the stress, it will break down once again.

UCL Rehab Can’t Be Rushed: Listen Up Matt Harvey!

Flickr-8006476237Healing takes time and the body can’t be rushed. Feeling good without the demands of an activity likely to offend is not a predictor of ultimate success. Not even a little. Though his musculature can be coaxed back to full capacity, Harvey’s new ligament isn’t likely to be at full strength until October. Rushing through a throwing program and pitching too often, at high velocities and at full capacity won’t hasten his recovery but will prove to stress his new UCL beyond its capacity. Unless he’d like to face a revision surgery down the road – perhaps sooner than later – Harvey would be wise to take direction from his medical team without a fight.

An Epidemic of Tommy John Procedures in MLB

elbow-anatomy1Many have taken note of the epidemic of Tommy John surgeries in baseball of late, and the reason for it is both straightforward and enigmatic. Straightforward because an elbow wasn’t designed to pitch, especially repetitively and with such velocity. Many are destined to break down. A bit of a mystery still because it does seem like more athletes face this surgery than in the past. Why is that?

Matt Harvey's Fall League Paradox

imagesMets ace Matt Harvey has been out since the end of August with a partial ligament tear in his right elbow.

He might pitch in the Arizona Fall League, according to general manager Sandy Alderson, to see if he can avoid Tommy John surgery. That is if it is determined he is actually eligible to compete, having possibly exceeded the maximum timeframe allotted for those already in the majors.

It is an interesting proposition and one that I’d like to take a moment to dissect. Having thoroughly assessed both Harvey’s injury and his recovery to date, the Mets’ medical staff may have two very different reasons for encouraging Harvey to pitch sooner rather than later.