Breaking News
October 21, 2018 - Report reveals growing impact of cannabis on young people
October 21, 2018 - NSF awards $5 million grant to help scientists magnify societal impact of research
October 21, 2018 - Fertility Rates Down for Each Urbanization Level 2007 to 2017
October 21, 2018 - Genetically engineered 3-D human muscle transplant in a murine model
October 21, 2018 - Moms’ tight work schedules may affect their children’s sleep
October 21, 2018 - AHA: No Direct Link Between Preeclampsia and Cognitive Impairment, Study Finds
October 21, 2018 - Weight loss success linked with active self-control regions of the brain
October 21, 2018 - Scripps researchers successfully test potential new smoking-cessation treatment in rodents
October 21, 2018 - More accurate and less stressful way to measure a baby’s heartbeat
October 21, 2018 - Researchers show better cardiorespiratory fitness leads to longer life
October 21, 2018 - Healthy candies for diabetic patients
October 21, 2018 - Environment impact of microplastics remains unclear
October 21, 2018 - Antibiotics for appendicitis? Surgery often not needed
October 21, 2018 - AHA and AMA recognize more than 800 medical practices, health systems for blood pressure control
October 21, 2018 - Scientists obtain clearest ever image of Ebola virus protein
October 21, 2018 - Study reveals connection between two proteins known to be hyperactive in cancer
October 21, 2018 - Gabapentin Beats Pregabalin for Chronic Sciatica
October 21, 2018 - Cosmetic surgeons offering incomplete information for breast augmentation customers
October 21, 2018 - Chronic sleep disruption in early adult life accelerates AD-related tau pathology
October 21, 2018 - Take 10 for Mindfulness – Drugs.com MedNews
October 21, 2018 - Length of breathing disruption in OSA may be better predictor of mortality risk
October 21, 2018 - ApoE4 gene linked with chronic inflammation increases risk for Alzheimer’s disease
October 21, 2018 - Mother-daughter conflict associated with suicide risk in abused adolescent girls
October 21, 2018 - Scientists molding bacteria into unnatural shapes
October 21, 2018 - High diet quality associated with lower risk of death in colorectal cancer patients
October 21, 2018 - Discharged mental health patients ‘at greater risk of dying’
October 21, 2018 - Research provides insight into neurobiology of aggression and bullying
October 21, 2018 - As billions in tax dollars flow to private Medicaid plans, Who’s minding the store?
October 21, 2018 - Neuroscientists identify brain region that appears to be related to food preference decisions
October 21, 2018 - Deaths related to air pollution in the U.S. decreased by 47% between 1990 and 2010
October 21, 2018 - Study shows correlation between spatial memory and the sense of smell
October 21, 2018 - Increased cardiorespiratory fitness associated with reduced long-term mortality
October 21, 2018 - IU researchers receive $1.55 million from NIH to improve chronic-disease management
October 21, 2018 - Income and wealth affect the mental health of Australians, study shows
October 21, 2018 - Patients with hypertension and psoriasis more often require cardiovascular interventions
October 20, 2018 - Leading hip-hop videos depict use of tobacco and marijuana products, study finds
October 20, 2018 - Dose Range of IV Ketamine for Adjunct Tx of Depression Tested
October 20, 2018 - Infants can distinguish between leaders and bullies, study finds
October 20, 2018 - Mad Cow disease found on Aberdeenshire farm
October 20, 2018 - Study identifies factors associated with prescription opioid misuse among students
October 20, 2018 - Scientists uncover key regulator of mTORC1 in cancer growth
October 20, 2018 - Pounds Regained After Weight-Loss Op Can Tell Your Doc a Lot
October 20, 2018 - Sending parents letters to fight childhood obesity doesn’t work
October 20, 2018 - Supervised aerobic exercise can support major depression treatment
October 20, 2018 - Mindfulness-based program effective for reducing stress in infertile women
October 20, 2018 - Molecule capable of halting and reverting neurodegeneration caused by Parkinson’s disease identified
October 20, 2018 - Midazolam-mediated alterations of PER2 expression may have functional consequences during myocardial ischemia
October 20, 2018 - Sweat bees are ideal for studying the genes underlying social behavior
October 20, 2018 - Weight loss success associated with brain areas involved in self-control
October 20, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Republicans’ preexisting political problem
October 20, 2018 - Research provides a more complete picture of suffering caused by terrorist attacks
October 20, 2018 - Eradicating Helicobacter pylori infections may be a key treatment for Parkinson’s disease
October 20, 2018 - Breast Cancer as a Dynamic Disease
October 20, 2018 - University of Pittsburgh wins NSF grant for big data research to prevent complications from anesthesia
October 20, 2018 - Skin-to-skin contact may promote attachment between parents and preterm infants
October 20, 2018 - Recommendations Developed to Verify NGT Placement in Children
October 20, 2018 - Weight loss can be boosted fivefold thanks to novel mental imagery technique
October 20, 2018 - Children with autism are more likely to be overweight, obese
October 20, 2018 - Nurses making conscientious objections to ethically-relevant policies lack support
October 20, 2018 - Prion strain diversity may be greater than previously thought
October 20, 2018 - Antidepressant treatment may lead to improvements in sleep quality of patients with depression
October 20, 2018 - Study reports increased risk of death in children with inflammatory bowel disease
October 20, 2018 - Number of Autism Genes Now Tops 100
October 20, 2018 - Total diet replacement programmes are effective for treating obesity
October 20, 2018 - CLARIOstar used for fluorescence measurements on CSIRO’s purpose-built research vessel
October 20, 2018 - People with more copies of AMY1 gene digest starchy carbohydrates faster
October 20, 2018 - Case Comprehensive Cancer Center wins NIH grant to study health disparities
October 20, 2018 - Newly discovered compound shows potential for treating Parkinson’s disease
October 20, 2018 - High rate of non-adherence to hormonal therapy found among premenopausal early breast cancer patients
October 20, 2018 - Immunotherapy medicine found to be effective in treating uveitis
October 20, 2018 - The Pistoia Alliance Calls for Greater Collaboration to Realise Benefits of Innovation and Announces Winners of the 2018 President’s Startup Challenge
October 20, 2018 - Female internists consistently earn less than men
October 20, 2018 - Stanford team looks at dangers of teens’ vaping habits
October 20, 2018 - New approach to understanding cancers will accelerate development of better treatments
October 20, 2018 - LJI and UC San Diego awarded $ 4.5 million as part of NCI’s Cancer Moonshot initiative
October 20, 2018 - School-based HPV vaccination did not increase risky sexual behaviors among adolescent girls
October 20, 2018 - Eye discovery to pave way for more successful corneal transplants
October 20, 2018 - New analysis examines the importance of location in the opioid crisis
October 20, 2018 - Green filters increase reading speed for children with dyslexia
October 19, 2018 - Bariatric Sx Cuts Macrovascular Complications in Obesity, T2DM
Dr. Tommy John Hopes Fewer Young Athletes Need Dad’s Namesake Surgery

Dr. Tommy John Hopes Fewer Young Athletes Need Dad’s Namesake Surgery

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

FRIDAY, Nov. 17, 2017 — Despite a long and illustrious pro baseball career, Tommy John is more famous as the source of the name for a surgical procedure than for the nearly 300 games the left-handed pitcher won.

But Dr. Tommy John — who shares his dad’s name and played pro ball himself — is determined to change that. He’s a performance and healing specialist and a chiropractor in San Diego.

Dr. John would prefer that his father — a four-time Major League All-Star — is remembered for his baseball achievements than for the elbow surgery that got him back on the mound for many years. And both son and father would really be happy if fewer young athletes had to undergo the procedure to keep playing the sport they love.

The elder John’s career spanned from 1963 to 1989. After playing big league ball for more than 10 years and enduring about 40 cortisone shots to dampen the pain he felt from pitching, the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his elbow “exploded,” his son said.

At the time, Dr. Frank Jobe had successfully performed surgery using a tendon on polio patients’ ankles, the younger John explained. But no one had ever reconstructed the elbow ligament of a major league baseball pitcher.

“My dad wasn’t one to be told that he would have to stop,” Dr. John said, adding that his father already had plans to learn how to perfect a knuckleball pitch if his elbow could no longer hold up to the demands of throwing fastballs.

Fortunately, Jobe was able to rebuild the elder John’s elbow ligament with the procedure that soon became known as “Tommy John surgery.” John continued playing for 13 years after the revolutionary operation.

Dr. John said when he introduces himself to people, they think he’s joking, and they say, “Oh, Tommy John, like the surgery?”

“I would just like to get his reputation as a ball player back,” said the younger John of his father. “I want people to think of his 26-year career and his 288 wins.”

Plus, Dr. John would like to make sure that kids don’t suffer from the same kind of overuse injuries that make UCL reconstruction surgery necessary.

“There’s nothing wrong with having a kid that is passionate about a sport, but kids should only play their sport during that season. For baseball, it’s spring through late summer. No baseballs should be picked up in the fall and winter. They can keep learning about baseball and listening to talks about baseball, but they should play another sport that’s totally unrelated,” said Dr. John.

Dr. David Geier, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, agreed that specialization is “risky in terms of injuries.”

“The most common injuries vary from sport to sport, but about half of injuries stem from overuse. On the one hand, it’s scary that it’s happening. But on the other hand, it’s good that it’s something we can do something about,” said Geier, who’s also a spokesman for the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine.

However, he acknowledged that avoiding sport specialization can be hard. There are elite leagues and club teams, and “if you’re not playing year-round, you might not make a particular team,” Geier explained.

But he’d like young athletes to know that “even the pros have an off-season,” and he’s interviewed a number of professional players, and they all said they played multiple sports growing up.

Playing several sports “builds skills kids don’t get in one sport, and may add balance and flexibility, along with teamwork and leadership skills,” Geier said.

Geier also said a good rule of thumb is to look at a child’s age, and use that number as a guide for how many hours a week they should be practicing and competing. So, an 8-year-old shouldn’t practice or compete in games or tournaments for more than eight hours a week. For a 16-year-old high school player, the weekly limit jumps up to 16 hours.

“It’s important to make sure kids get enough rest and have time for school and hanging out in the community,” Geier added.

Both experts said it’s important to foster an open environment where kids feel it’s OK to let the coach or their parents know if they’re having pain.

“This is probably the biggest thing to emphasize to parents. Don’t let kids train through pain. It could lead to an injury that needs surgery or could even end their career,” Geier said.

Dr. John agreed that persistent pain is a sign that kids need to rest. “Muscle soreness will go away in two days, but stuff that’s more sinister around the elbow or shoulder lasts more than two days,” he explained. Kids shouldn’t try to deal with the pain, or ice or tape it away, or take anti-inflammatories, he added.

Dr. John said he understands that parents often make decisions out of fear that their child won’t get the best opportunities to play that will help them get the best scholarship and might even lead to a professional career. But those odds are long. And, he added, if a teenager needs to have the surgery named after his dad, professional scouts aren’t likely to see such a player as a good “return on investment.”

Dr. John also noted that the odds of making it in the big leagues are very slim. In 2017, there were nearly half a million high school baseball players, he said. In the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), there were 34,500 players. Fewer than 700 of those NCAA players were drafted to play professional ball, according to John.

More information

Learn more about preventing injuries in young athletes from StopsSportsInjuries.org.

©2017 HealthDay.

All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2017

Recommended for you

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles