Increase in Tommy John Surgery Amongst Young Athletes

Topics: Pitcher, Baseball, Tommy John surgery Pages: 3 (1078 words) Published: December 7, 2010
In order to keep up with the competition, athletes must constantly look for a competitive advantage. There are many ways to do this, both good and bad, legal and illegal. The hottest trend in today's society is very unique and out of the ordinary. Young athletes have been turning to a procedure called Tommy John surgey in order to get a boost in athletic performance. This surgery has been sought out by these young athletes even when not injured, and this has outraged many professionals and doctors around the world. This growing trend has been highly debated and will continue to be until some sort of guidelines are set.

Tommy John surgery is reconstructive surgery of the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow. This surgery has been common amongst college and professional athletes over the last few decades, most notably baseball players. The surgery was first performed in 1974 on former Major League Baseball star Tommy John by Doctor Frank Jobe. The surgery was so revolutionary, Doctor Jobe decided to name the surgery after his first patient.

The process for Tommy John surgery is a quite simple process that has evolved over time. Basically, when ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow becomes damaged, a tendon needs to be taken from another part of the body in order to replace the damaged one. The new tendon is carefully woven into a figure eight pattern in the elbow bone. There is a slight risk of damage to the ulnar nerve, but if done carefully, the process is pretty routine these days.

One of the key reasons why young athletes are opting for this surgery is the rising success rate ever since it has been in existence. When it was first discovered and performed, the surgery was given a 1 in 100 success rate by surgeon Frank Jobe. The success rate as of 2009 is an astonishing 85-92 percent. The time it takes to recover depends on the sport, and the position played in that sport. On average, it takes between 6 and 12 months to fully recover, with baseball...
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