May 22, 2024
UR Medicine treating growing demand for Tommy John surgery

Tommy John surgery is gaining more popularity, but experts suggest it’s not always easy to bounce back from.

Connor Osier is a senior pitcher for Greece Athena High School. He’s committed to playing college baseball next year and knows the pressure when it comes to a good throw.

A recent story from Rochester First detailed how the University of Rochester Medicine is treating the rising demand for throwing injuries. Below is an excerpt from the Rochester First story.

tommy john“I’d say it is high. But if you want to play at the next level, you can’t pay that any mind. You’ve got to be the best you can be and just play to your full potential,” said Osier.

It’s something UR Medicine is looking closely at through its new ‘CHAMPP Program’ at the Orthopaedics Campus at Marketplace Mall.

Conner Lorenzo serves as the director of operations for UR Medicine Fitness Science, and is one of the trainers who works with many young athletes.

“You almost have to make a choice, ‘Do I want to develop early and risk injury, or roll the dice and take my time and do the things the right way and maybe get overlooked initially?’ What we’re trying to do is offer a program that does both. It allows you to improve your performance, stay at an elite level, but also stay healthy,” said Lorenzo.

Experts say the topic of Tommy John surgery is becoming more frequent. It’s a surgical reconstruction of a torn UCL in an elbow joint. The procedure, they say, can present a lengthy recovery.

“Nowadays, you’re starting to see a lot more kids throwing much younger and that’s just a lot of wear and tear on shoulders, elbows, and arms. So, there’s definitely pressure to keep healthy as a young athlete. It just makes you think it can happen to anyone, so you’ve got to take it serious,” said Braedon Reina, a middle infielder at Churchville-Chili High School.

Doctors add varsity sports are more competitive than ever, with coaches often looking at how hard an athlete can throw.

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Dr. Mike Maloney of UR Medicine regularly works with young athletes to properly condition them for their sport, helping to prevent injuries that could later require surgery.

“I think that’s pushed people to really emphasize training to throw as hard as possible. I think unfortunately in developing bodies, whether you’re middle school or high school, that’s a recipe for failure and going to be an issue for them achieving goals they have. I think what’s most important is learning about their bodies, how do they take care of themselves, the mechanics of throwing and having someone who’s knowledgeable and can educate them, someone who can advocate for them and when something doesn’t feel right. Not being afraid to be evaluated, take some time off, and let their bodies recover,” said Dr. Maloney.

To read the full story from Rochester First, click here. 

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