Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Rehabilitation Program Following Tommy John Surgery

I thought this was interesting, as you always hear about Tommy John surgery, but rarely what the physical rehabilitation will entail. TJ surgery has become almost routine, but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make it all the way back.

Here is a typical rehab program:

0-7 Days: Splint is worn, squeeze a soft ball.

1-4 Weeks: Discontinue splint; sling worn for one more week; gradually achieve full range of motion.

1-2 Months: Full range of motion at elbow, wrist, forearm, shoulder; lightweights for forearm exercises.

2-3 Months: Continue lower body conditioning program; continue exercises for upper extremities, including rotator cuff.

3-4 Months: Easy tossing (no wind-up), 25-30 throws building up to 70.

4-5 Months: Continue throwing program with easy wind-up, 20-50 feet, 10-40 throws.

5-6 Months: Throwing program extends to 60 feet at half-speed.

6-7 Months: Gradually increase distance to 150 feet.

7-8 Months: Progress to a mound at half- to three-quarters speed, using proper body mechanics (stay on top of the ball, keep elbow up, throw over the top, follow through with the arm and trunk).

9-10 Months: Simulate game situations.

10-12 Months: Begin normal routine and make appropriate rehab starts.


Originally provided by Dr. Craig Morgan to the Courier Post Online.

81 comments:

  1. hi i got tommy john surgery 5 months ago yesturday and i was wondering with my throwing program that i should throw everyday, or every other day? Just send me an e-mail if you know.. Cnolan07@hotmail.com thanks guys.

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  2. Hey Anon,

    Sorry to hear about your TJ surgery. On the bright side, it is much more routine than in years past, so the success rate is very high if you work hard and stick to your rehab program.

    However, I'm not a doctor, athletic trainer, or physical therapist, so I wouldn't be comfortable advising you on an appropriate throwing program.

    The above post contains a general rehab program, but frequently rehab programs are individually tailored to the player. There is some variability in how quickly individual players bounce back from the surgery, so there isn't really a "one-size fits all" rehab plan. I'd say that your best bet is to talk to your doctor or perhaps more appropriately your physical therapist about an individualized plan.

    Anyway, best of luck with your rehab. I hope you're back throwing bullets in no time!!

    Best,
    Lark

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  3. I had tj as well it will be ten months in two weeks and I am still only throwing every other day and only 3 days a week hope that helps

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  4. Hey Anon,

    Thanks for the comment. Fortunately, TJ has become much more of a routine procedure, but that certainly doesn't make the recovery process any easier. Best of luck and hope you are back throwing bullets in no time!!

    Best,
    Lark

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  5. My stepson, who is 15, has TJ surgery coming up in two days. He is a catcher not a pitcher, and the doctor who will be doing his surgery told him he will be o.k. to play next season, is that possible or is that just a best case scenario. Also i have heard that his arm may actually be better following the surgery. Thanks in advance for your response.

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  6. Hey Anon,

    Sorry to hear your stepson needs TJ surgery. Fortunately, it's becoming almost routine at this point. First, I'll start off with my usual disclaimer. I'm not a medical professional of any kind. I'm just a fan who is interested in all things baseball, including injuries and recovery. So, the doctor is going to know more than I do, both in general and in terms of your stepson's particular case.

    It's difficult for me to say what his potential recovery time-line will be, because rehab and recovery vary depending on the individual. Some bounce back quicker than others. As a general rule, position players CAN return to full-time duty faster than pitchers.

    As for his arm being "better" following surgery, I think you have to look at it from two different perspectives.

    First, from a purely medical/anatomy perspective, it's unlikely that his arm will be better. As Will Carroll, the med-head for Baseball Prospectus, once wrote, the body is never "better" after going under the knife than it was before injury/surgery.

    However, it's entirely possible that his performance will be better. There are a number of examples of pitchers throwing harder after surgery. More than likely that's the result of the extensive rehab and strengthening program that players must go through on the road to recovery than any actual benefits of the surgery itself.

    It's a difficult road back, but hard work and perseverance typically pay off. Fortunately, the recovery rate for TJ is pretty good at this point, so your stepson should come through it just fine. I'll send some good thoughts his way.

    Best,
    Lark

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  7. My 17 yr old son had tj surgery 12 weeks ago. He blew it out pitching in a game in hs. My question is we go back to the doctor in a few weeks and he feels great and is following doctor orders to the tee...but is wanting to play soccer do you think he will be able to?

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  8. Anon,

    I'm not sure on that one. The rehab and recovery process varies a great deal, so it's tough to say. Obviously, recovery from TJ surgery has two goals: 1) getting the person back to everyday health and 2) recovering to the point of full baseball health. However, the former usually happens before the latter.

    Throwing a baseball is such a unique and unnatural act that it takes longer to get back to 100% on the diamond. At some point in the rehab, performing most non-baseball activities will be possible, while throwing normally again is still a ways off.

    Unless he's a goalie, soccer doesn't involve the arms very much, other than pumping them during running and some shoulder charging here and there.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he can return to the soccer field before he's healthy enough to do much throwing, but I'm not sure if 3 months is enough time. I think that will be an individualized determination for the doctor to make.

    I hope your son has a speedy recovery!

    Best,
    Lark

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  9. Thanks for the info on the question about soccer. Well we did go to the docter and he asked what position and my son is a goalie and the docter said no. He is disappointed as this is his senior year of high school and he's a pretty good goalie but baseball is his passion. The good news is he will pick up a baseball in 4 weeks to throw with no wind up and he is a little nervous. Thanks again for answer my question even though in out mind we already knew the answer!!

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  10. Hey Anon,

    Sorry to hear he won't get to play soccer, but it's not surprising given that he's a goalie. Anyway, hopefully the recovery goes well and he's back throwing the ball without pain in no time!

    Best,
    Lark

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  11. How much does the basterd cost?

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  12. Anon,

    How much money does a Tommy John surgery cost? I don't have the answer to that question. I'm sure it depends on where you get the procedure done, who performs the procedure, health insurance coverage, and any number of other considerations.

    I'm sure it's not cheap, but that's about the best I can do on that one.

    Best,
    Lark

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  13. Sorry to bother you...I have a few questions for you. My son had surgery in April...missing alot of his jr. year of high school and summer travel ball. He is working hard to come back but I was wondering if colleges now think maybe he is not worth pursuing because of his injury? He would get lots of mail from different colleges etc...in the past and since his injury he has not received anything. I also was wondering if the baseball showcases out there are worth going to? Someone once told me they were a waste of money!! Anyway, I appreciate any answers you can give me!!
    Thanks

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  14. Hey Anon,

    No bother at all.

    For your son, I would imagine that it's more of a case of out of sight, out of mind. Given the college admission process, the junior year is pretty important for high school kids to show what they can do.

    TJ surgery is getting to be fairly commonplace in the baseball world, so I doubt it would scare college programs off....if your son is healthy and performing at his previous level. It's not the TJ surgery itself that is of concern to the college programs, but rather his level of performance.

    I'm not sure how far along your son is in the rehab process (if you mean last April, then he probably has a ways to go), but when he's ready I'd get him back on the field to show what he can do. Unfortunately, depending on when the surgery was done and whether he pitches or plays the field, he may be 100% healthy but not at peak performance during his senior year.

    At this point, the first step, obviously, should be getting your son back 100% healthy. After that, I'd concentrate on demonstrating to the college programs that he is back and ready play. It also might be advisable to be proactive and contact some of the college programs yourself. If you have had any direct contact with coaches in the past, then a follow up call or letter might be a good idea. Because your son hasn't been playing, you may have to contact a coach or two to let them know that he's back and healthy. Obviously, that would be more difficult if you only received packets of information in the mail, rather than direct communication from a coach. Still, might be worth a shot.

    Outside of that, if he can't get back on the field soon enough to showcase his health and ability before the end of his high school career, then your son may have to go to college and try to be a walk on. He could also go the junior college route to rebuild his value and then transfer to a 4-year program.

    Anyway, that's probably the course I would follow. Best of luck to you and your son. Let me know how it works out.

    Best,
    Lark

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  15. Here's a great blog about Tommy John rehab written by someone going through it firsthand: elite D-Back pitching prospect Jarrod Parker. It's an interesting read.

    Enjoy!

    http://jarrodbparker.mlblogs.com/

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  16. My son, a college pitcher had TJ surgery almost a year ago. Elbow has rehabbed nicely, but having tremendous pain in his groin where the tendon was removed to use in his elbow. MRI didn't reveal anything, but pain persists. Any suggestions?

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  17. Hey Anon,

    That's one of the most overlooked aspects of the TJ procedure. Artificial tissue does not fully approximate the function of body's own connective tissues and the body doesn't have many "extra" ligaments just hanging around, so the procedure involves harvesting a healthy tendon.

    It seems that the leg is the most popular option these days, but doctors also frequently use the palmaris longus tendon in the arm or the plantaris tendon in the ankle. The key feature of each of these tendons is that their removal should have a negligible effect on body function.

    Unfortunately, that doesn't sound like the case for your son and regrettably there's really no way for me to shed any light on what might be causing the problem. If it was soreness in the arm, then the reason for the pain would likely be a bit easier to identify. However, the recovery of the area from which the tendon was harvested is typically almost an afterthought.

    I really wish I could point you in the right direction, but at this point about the best advice I can give is to keep working with the doctors until they identify the problem. I hate to even speculate, as I'm not a doctor or even a medical professional, but a couple of possibilities that do come to mind are a build up of scar tissue or perhaps minor nerve damage. Though, both are more commonly seen around the rehabilitating elbow.

    Ideally, the pain would be caused by nothing more than a build up of scar tissue, which can be painful until it breaks down or is removed. The removal of the tendon is typically regarded as less complicated aspect of the procedure, so that should lessen the likelihood of any type of nerve damage.

    I wish I could be of more help, but I'm sure the doctors will determine the cause and get it fixed in no time. Good luck to you and your son. I hope he's out there throwing bullets in no time!

    Best,
    Lark

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  18. I had TJ surgery almost 8 weeks ago. In reading your blog I guess I am very unique because I am a 43 year old female who actually injured my elbow gardening. Yes, gardening. I stretched my ligament and for four years dealt with my elbow popping in and out of joint.

    I am 8 weeks out from surgery but my range of motion is very disappointing. I have not been able to increase my extention or flection for several weeks. I am now in a static splint but it just does not seem to do anything. Can anyone tell me at 8 weeks, how far were they with flection and extention? Will it really take me 12 months to be back to a straight arm?

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  19. Anon,

    Sorry to hear about the gardening injury. I'm impressed you managed to deal with it for 4 years. That must have been pretty tough.

    I haven't had TJ surgery, so I can't help you with any personal experiences. Obviously, recovery is a very individualized process, so I wouldn't get too discouraged if it's going slower than you might like.

    Obviously, this injury occurs frequently in athletes who are in very good shape. Also, they are young. Frequently, as people get older, it takes a longer to recovery from injury or surgery. So, maybe that's what is happening in your particular case.

    Personally, I'd be surprised if it takes you 12 months to get back to a straight arm. I would imagine your flection and extension would be back to something approximating normal well before a year goes by, which is the timetable for throwing a baseball.

    Maybe someone who has had it can weigh in with some personal experience on the subject. Unfortunately, I can't be of much help on that one.

    Best of luck in your recovery!

    -Lark

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  20. I see you have posted at the top the Rehabilitation Protocol at the top and I was wondering what it means at 10-12 months appropriate rehab starts? My son is at 9 months after surgery and this is exactly what he has been doing. He is now doing simulated game situations. We see the doctor every month and don't ask about getting back in to live action. The important thing to us is for him to be healthy and being able to pitch again will be an answered prayer. He is 17 years old and his arm is feeling great. We did some research on the internet and stumbled across your web-site and was wondering if at the 10-12 month he actually could be pitching again if that is what it meant. We go back to the docter in 2 weeks and that question will come up but my son asked me to write this to you and see what your thoughts are. We would appreciate any information. I also wanted to tell you your web-site is very helpful! Thanks in advance!!

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  21. Anon,

    Glad to hear your son is doing well. TJ recovery is really tough both mentally and physically.

    Obviously, TJ recovery is very individualized, as people respond and recover at very different rates. So, definitely run it by your doctor and/or physical therapist.

    That said, the next step after simulated games probably is live game action. The simulated games are a way to ease back into game like situations in a more controlled environment. If he's responding well to those types of situations, then he's probably close to being ready for game action. Obviously, it'll be somewhat strange to get back on the mound in a game, so they'll probably break him in slowly.

    Anyway, it's gotta be exciting to see light at the end of the tunnel. Obviously, I can't give you an exact time table, but he certainly seems to be close to getting back into the game and a normal routine.

    Best of luck to you and your son. I hope he's back throwing bullets in no time.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Best,
    Lark

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  22. Great information.

    To get more information concerning Tommy John Surgery, contact me on my blog (http://tommy-john-surgery-rehab.blogspot.com).

    I had surgery 5 months ago so I am very knowledgeable in the area.

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  23. About five months out of surgery, how much pain is normal while throwing in the soft toss stages?

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  24. Anon,

    Well, there really is no "normal." It's a very individualized process and people bounce back at very different rates. So, it's hard to make any broad generalizations.

    Getting full extension back and rebuilding strength for baseball specific movements can be trying. If you are having significant pain, then obviously check with your doctor/physical therapist. However, given the significant reconstruction you have undergone, some discomfort isn't unusual.

    Best of luck on the recovery.

    -Lark

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  25. I'm just a little past 5 months of my TJ surgery and I've been throwing since about month 4. My arm feels great and I'm throwing at 90 feet already. To all of you that have had the surgery or are going to be getting the surgery, there is hope. It considers a TON of patience, as well as a lot of tedious rehab.

    A couple of pointers that I feel have really helped me is make sure you are keeping up with your rehab. My first month all I wanted to do was straiten and bend my arm all the way. Don't force it! It will eventully. Another huge tip is ice ice ice. Do not forget to ice. It does miracles.

    Maybe the biggest obstacle for some when you first start to throw is mind over matter. My first couple weeks of throwing was scary and I was more nervous then my first college start. Trust your arm, make sure you keep your elbow up and just focus on your mechanics. Your first few throws will definately feel very awkward but you'll get the feel of things back in no time.

    In order for a strong comeback make sure you DO NOT skip ahead in your rehab or throwing program. Like I said, its very tedious. You might feel like you could throw the length of a football field some days, DO NOT EVEN TRY. You'll just end up needing the suprgery again.

    Patience, ice, rehab, and more ice and patience and you'll be back to your old self again.

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  26. Anon,

    Thanks for sharing, I think people will appreciate your perspective on the recovery. And, I'd definitely echo your sentiments about icing your arm. Everything I've heard and read really stress the importance of icing your arm frequently.

    And, really, stick to the rehab program. Trying to do too much, too soon, really can be detrimental. It's easy to get frustrated with the slow pace of recovery, but if you stay the course then the odds are definitely in your favor.

    Thanks for the comment and the insider perspective. Good luck on your continuing recovery!!

    Best,
    Lark

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  27. Lark,

    My son is in 10th grade. He started his workout program in Dec 09, with weights and cardio. In the begining of Jan 10 he started his pitching, with his pitching coach. As always, he starts out slow and picks it up each week. At the end of Jan, he started to hit with his hitting coach. Everything was going great. During one of his lessons in late Feb 10, the last pitch, he felt a pop. The pitching coach told him to take a week off. My son came back next week and could not throw. I got my son right into a sports doctor. He told him he had tendinitis. Rest and etc. A week went by and he had pain. I took him to another doctor and he order a MRI. The results came back as a tear of the anterior aspect of the medial or ulnar collateral ligament. I brought him back to the first doctor and he wanted to put him in a cast, and I said no..I want to see another doctor. In the mean time, I was looking for doctor's in my area who have perform the Tommy John Surgery. After looking and asking therapist, I found one in my area that has done many of them. My son will have surgery this Thursday. Since my son was 9, I have try to give him the best people who can help him. I watch his pitch count and etc. He is a left hand pitcher and was throwing around 84 in the summer. The doctor told me it's not my fault. I used to have to talk to his coaches about his pitch count, days of rest and etc. Most of these coaches just want to win. Now my young son has to go through this surgery at a young age. Something I try to prevent. I pray that his surgery will go well, and maybe he will come back and be able to play baseball. As a freshman last year, he played JV and batted 540. I have a threapist that used to work with the New York Gaints, when my son has to rehab. My son had his 3rd no hitter this summer against older kids. In the fall, he had 6 colleges looking at him. He is a good kid and loves baseball. Thanks for reading this! Oh...a cast would have not help him. The tear is too big. I saw it on the CD MRI.....

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  28. Anon,

    Sorry to hear that your son has to go under the knife. Sounds like he's a good young player and if he adheres to the rehab program, chances are good that he'll regain his pre-injury form.

    Unfortunately, TJ surgery is a trying experience, both physically and emotionally. It sounds like he has a good support system in you, which is good as he may well need it. Getting multiple opinions was obviously the right thing to do, as depending on where you are located, the doctors may not see all that many TJ type injuries. Also, as you mention, some amateur coaches can be rough on arms, so monitoring the workload isn't a bad idea. Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are and how hard you work, TJ can still come up and bite you.

    As for rehab, it's easy to get down at times in the darker moments, so a support system is frequently important. Anyway, all the best to you and your son. Hopefully he's back throwing bullets and hitting rockets in no time.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Best,
    Lark

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  29. Hi, I'm a junior in high school and had tommy john surgery just a little over 9 months ago. I'm throwing and taking infield now as well as hitting. Unfortunately, I am still having constant and random pain while playing and just in general during the day. The pain is not that bad but more like "annoying pain". Will this stop soon?

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  30. Hi!! My 17 yr old son had TJ surgery over 11 months ago and has been cleared to throw a couple of weeks ago at a limited amount of pitches. His coach is awesome and has been taking it slow with him. He has thrown in 1-2 innings in 3 games. Well today he let him start the game and it was great. My son was so excited!! The first inning he struck out the side and then to the second he struck out 2 and one popped up. On to the 3rd inning he struck out the first guy. The next hitter got a double, then he walked the next guy!! The next hitter hit a 3 run homerun. Not so good!! Coach kept him in there and he walked the next guy and then the next hitter hit a 2 run homerun. Coach took him out and I could see on my 6'3" son how upset he was!! I could tell he was verrry emotional in the dugout but I stayed away. My son has given up 3 homeruns in his life and 2 of them were today!! He is now thinking maybe he doesn't want to pitch anymore that he has lost it. I have gotten some very good information off your web-site and even asked you a few months ago about him being able to play soccer!! How do pitchers get past the mental part after having surgery? Thanks for letting me share my story!!

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  31. Anon,

    Sorry about the delay getting back to you. It's difficult to say about your "annoying" pain. After such a significant surgery, it isn't surprising that there is some pain from time to time.

    It doesn't sound like it is an intense type of pain, so it could be the type of pain that simply comes from getting the arm back into playing shape and pushing it during workouts. Also, there could be scar tissue breaking up or the elbow could just be getting used to the new tendon and learning how to do baseball activity again.

    If the pain increases in intensity or doesn't go away after time, then definitely talk to your doctor/physical therapist. I don't like the sound of "constant" pain, but you'll have to be the ultimate judge on that one. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor.

    Ultimately, the pain *should* go away and the elbow should be as good as new. Once the TJ has been performed and rehab completed, then there shouldn't be any lingering pain, random or otherwise. So, hopefully it fades as you continue to work your way back. When all is said and done, you should be pain free with a fully functioning elbow.

    If you have concerns about it or the pain gets worse, then definitely ask your doctor. Obviously, you don't want to wait if the pain is serious, which is tough for me to judge.

    Anyway, hopefully the pain fades as you continue working your way back into game shape. All the best on your comeback!

    Best,
    Lark

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  32. Anon,

    Thanks for the info on your son. I think people sharing their stories is helpful to others.

    As for the mental part of recovery, that's a bit of a tough one. You just have to be diligent in your rehab and trust in the recovery process. There's no way to rush the mental recovery and regain confidence in your surgically repaired arm.

    You read about the mental breakthrough people have in other sports. It seems to happen a lot with players coming back from knee surgery. They don't have the confidence in their knee to really cut loose. And, quite frequently, the player lacks confidence in the knee until one specific play happens. On that play, they have to react or make a move based purely on instinct without thinking about the knee. At that point, they KNOW they can do what they used to do and no longer have to worry about how the knee will respond.

    I'd say it'll likely be the same with your son. He should just focus on his recovery and getting physically back to health. If he does that and keeps running back out there, then eventually he'll have his "moment" where he'll regain confidence in the health of his arm and know he can throw without fear of the injury.

    It's impossible to pinpoint when it'll happen, but at some it will probably happen.

    Best of luck to you and your son. Hope he has his mental breakthrough soon!

    Best,
    Lark

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  33. 9 months ago I had successful TJ surgery. Because of other committments (school) and nasty Canadian winter weather, my rehab is a bit behind schedule. I am almost ready to begin working off of the mound but a little hesitant because of a sharp, but not intense pain when I move my arm in certain positions. However, I dont experience this discomfort when I am throwing?? As with most athletes in rehab, I am very paranoid about re-injury. The "pain area" is "pain free" to touch. I guess my question would be; is this part of the healing process?...and is it something I should be working through or something I should rest? I dont see the surgeon for another 10 weeks.

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    Replies
    1. Where did you have the surgery done. Does someone in Canada do the surgery?

      Delete
  34. I just found out today I have a complete tear and will need tommy john. I am 22 and have just graduated college. Before my injury a few weeks ago where it definitely "popped" i was sitting 93-94 and was a pro prospect for the 2010 draft or at least free agency as a closer. I have lost those interests to say the least and realistically understand that by the time I am healed and back to normal, which I can only hope the surgery will make happen, I will pretty much be too old to grasp interests from scouts. I do understand you may never know but really I just dont want to give the game up and I can still play and pitch for my semi-pro team I have been on in the past. But honestly guys, is there really light at the end of the tunnel?

    The doctor told me if I didnt elect to have the surgery I would just pretty much be, normal, wouldnt be able to reach back and fire anymore, but would lead a normal, somewhat sore, life. I am struggling with this decision and will for sometime. I am not looking for answers, rather opinions or testimonies like the others I have read on this blog now.

    I do have to say everything I have read does make me somewhat optimistic about having the surgery and my initial response is to go through with it. Just wanna hear your thoughts....was it worth it?

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  35. Anon,

    As you mention, paranoia about re-injury is the norm, not the exception. Unfortunately, I can't give you much advice about this type of question, as there are different levels of pain and any number of possibles reasons for it. You just have to listen to your body and err on the side of caution.

    Obviously, TJ surgery is a serious procedure, as you have to re-learn how to throw and re-train your arm to do it. You have to adjust to and "break in" the transplanted tendon, which is rarely a completely pain-free process.

    However, there shouldn't be severe, continuous pain to the rehab. So, you'll just have to listen to your arm and determine whether there is a something not right. I wish I had better advice for you on that one, but I wish you all the best in your rehab. I know it can be frustrating at times, but stay the course and you'll likely emerge just fine at the end.

    Best,
    Lark

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  36. Michael,

    I haven't had the procedure myself, but I'm sure others on here can offer you a testimonial.

    Best of luck with your decision.

    -Lark

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  37. Lark,

    I wrote to you back on April 2nd about my 16 year old son(see above). My son had TJ surgery on April 8th. He is 9 weeks out. He has a hinge brace on, and will have it taken off on June 17th. The therapist told me he has full range of motion. I take it the new tendon is a good one. The doctor told me that he took a pc of his hamstring(but it was not long enough) and the tendon by his wrist. He took both pcs and put them together, to make the new ucl. My son has been in therapy for 3 weeks now. After each therapy, my son arm is sore. Lark, it was a tough operation for my son. Now the real work will begin when the hinge brace comes off for good. The doctor is please so far, and the therapist too. School will be out in a week and my son will have therapy 3 days a week. He is in therapy for at least 2 hours each time he goes. I hear players want to get this operation and they don't even need it. I was talking to a college pitching coach, and one of his players is having it done. They think that they will throw harder? This is not true. The doctor told me that my son will start to throw in August. I will not rush him back to pitch next year. If he can throw a few innings in late May 2011...maybe. I want his arm to get strong, be physical and metal ready. He will be in 11th grade next year. If he does not pitch, he might be able to hit, and play at 1st. I think he may go to a PG school after high school, to give him another year to be ready for college. I will keep you posted about his rehab. So far, so good......Thanks for reading this...


    John

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  38. John,

    Thanks for the update. Glad to hear your son is doing well!

    There is an urban legend that TJ surgery will help you throw harder. Most people people the increase in velocity is more easily explained by two rationales.

    First, the heavy amount of rehab work and physical conditioning that pitchers go through on the road to recovery. It's not the surgery, it's the weight lifting, stretching, and conditioning.

    Second, the idea that a pitcher's velocity gradually decreases well before surgery due to the injury, so it seems like the pitcher gets a velocity bump when he is back to health, but in actuality is merely returning to his pre-injury velocity.

    Anyway, I can't imagine voluntarily undergoing such massive reconstructive surgery.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Best,
    Lark

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  39. To Michael (June 4),
    In light of your recent bad news and the decisions that need to be made, I hope I can offer some feedback to the crisis at hand. I am in my early 50's and had severe tendon damage when I was 19-20. At that time and being from Canada, the only real course of medical treatment was rest, physio and having to live with the pain. I was in the same position you find yourself in as far as being recruited, but realized that I needed to move on with my life. That being said, I still to this day ask my self all the "what-ifs" that I am sure you are going through now. I did continue pitching for another 20 plus years, but it was never the same. Had the opportunity to have TJ surgery been available then, I would have opted to have it. Personally, I wouldn't be too overly concerned about your age. If you find you return to your pre-injury status after re-hab, I am sure that you will still find yourself on the "radar" of scouts from the next level. There is nothing unusual about a 25 - 26 year old rookie!! If things dont work out, you at least will know that you did all you could. Treat the re-hab as an extended "Spring training" and work your butt off. There is a good chance that the new tendon is better than the old one, plus it will give you a lot of time to improve your mechanics. My 20 year old son pitched for 2 years with elbow problems before being properly diagnosed with total tendon seperation. He is currently at the 10 month rehab mark and quite optimistic. His case is somewhat different as he never got to experience his "peak" velocity. He elected to go through the surgery for the same reason - he didn't want to look back after 10 years, second guess his decision and ask himself, "what if I had the surgery and how good could I have been"? The procedure as you know has come a long way over the years and is quite successful. My question to you would be, "Why not"? Good luck and keep us posted.
    Jon from the north.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I really appreciate the info "anonymous" because in the last weeks I have been leaning to just getting the surgery. My dye injection mri showed a complete tear but i suppose the lesser of the evils would be that they are going to restretch the ligament and attach it then add in one from my wrist is the plan. The doctor i am seeing also works with the cubs and white sox so i feel pretty confident in the hands im in. I do plan on playing for fun really, if i get scooped up from my semi-pro team someday it will be a lucky shot but I have come to peace with that for the most part. I simply want to be normal and not have problems later in life. Playing for fun is really the only reason i ever wanted to play in the first place, i know i will never forget that. Thanks again for insight, it does help the decision making process

    ReplyDelete
  41. Michael,
    Sounds like you have things pretty much mapped out...and have confidence in the surgeon. I am a little puzzled that you are only keen on "having fun"? Dont write yourself off too soon - you still have a lot of years to go.Treat everything as if you were still an 18 year old.
    Jon

    ReplyDelete
  42. I had TJ on May 31 - I am a female baseballer who is a Catcher (but have played for 19 years).. I had my cast on for approx 12 days, from there I went to the plastic split that keeps my arm at 90 degrees. I can take my arm out 3x a day to exercise it (which is only straightening and bending the arm) I see my Doc again next week and have approx 2 and a bit weeks left in this plastic splint. I am struggling to get my arm straight at the moment and if this isn't done by my appointment next week I have to get knocked out again and the Doc will straighten my arm for me. (he knows it can straighten as this was tested after my surgery) so its obviously just my bicep and other muscles stopping it and the fact its couped up in a splint majority of the day.

    I am struggling to come to terms with things I used to do which I cant at present. I cant lift weights or even run (for fear I may fall over and do more damage) I can run again once the splint is removed which will be 7 and a bit weeks afer surgery. So my life is riding an exercise bike and "WALKING" on a treadmill and leg weights. I have been advised I can resume hitting 6 months after surgery but cant start thowing until the 9 month mark.. these are all predicted times I may get back throwing earlier.. time will tell.. the surgeon also advised that I wont throw well until the 12 month mark.. so everyone is different - obviously professional baseballers can get back quicker baseball makes them a living so rehab is their job and they work all day every day at fixing it.. people like myself have to work and rehab in my own time..

    so yeah all in all everyone's experiences are different but good luck to everyone that is currently recovering from TJ :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anon,

    Thanks for sharing your TJ experience. I really think it helps others to hear firsthand accounts of the rehab process. As you mention, TJ rehab is a difficult process made even more so by the fact that most people aren't being paid millions of dollars solely to play baseball.

    Anyway, hope you are back behind the plate and as good as new in no time!

    Best,
    Lark

    ReplyDelete
  44. Lark,

    How are you? I wrote to you back on April and June about 16 year old son having TJ surgery on April 8th. I just want to give you a update on him. He will begin his 14 pt program on August 8th. I am sure you know the program what I am talking about. He just saw his doctor on July 29th. The doctor is very please so far. He has full range of motion. He has strength in his shoulder and his arm too. He has been going to therapy 3 days a week, and he works very hard, for at least 2 hrs each time he is in therapy. The next day after therapy he is sore. The doctor told me that their may be some set backs when my son starts the 14 pt program. He will throw a baseball for the first time, in almost 5 months. For all those who have gone through TJ surgery, "DON'T RUSH IT". My son was careful. He did not even go in the pool, because he was scare he was going to do something to his left elbow. The doctor cleared him, so he can go in the pool, run and do what his therapist tells him(weight wise). It has not been an easy road. The hard work will start on August 8th. As I told you back in April, as a freshman, he was throwing 80-84 mph. He will be in 11th grade this fall. The hope is that he will be able to play baseball next spring. If he is able to hit, and maybe play 1st, that would be great. I am not rushing him to get back to the mound. We will follow the program and go for there! If he is able to pitch some next summer in AAU, that would be great. If not, we will wait until he is in 12 grade. I am thinking about a PG school after high school, so he can get another year of baseball in. I will keep you posted. Thanks for reading this!


    John

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  45. good luck to your son i wish him the best...im in the same situation..i had surgery 3 weeks ago and wont pitch my senior year in high school but i can play first and hit...i was wondering how long before i will be able to lift weights? i am only at week 3 now as i said

    ReplyDelete
  46. John,

    Of course I remember. My apologies for not getting back to you sooner. Busy times.

    Thanks for the update on your son. Great to hear he has full-range of motion and is on track to begin throwing in the near future.

    As you mention, TJ rehab is a grueling process, both physically and mentally. It's a long, tough road, but sounds like he has a good medical team and a good support system. Hopefully he's back throwing bullets in no time.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment!

    Best,
    Lark

    ReplyDelete
  47. Lark,


    I wrote to you a few times about my 16 year old son having TJ Surgery on April 8, 2010.
    Here is another update! My son started to throw a few weeks ago. As I told you, he is on the 14 pt program. He started at 25ft, now he at 40-45ft. It has not been an easy time for him. He losted his arm angle, angle slot, release pt and etc. He will throw 5 right to the chest, and then one will fly over his therapist head, or into the ground. I know that the metal part of him coming back to where he was once at, is going to take time. When he was a freshman he was throwing 80-84mph, great movement on his 2, 4 steam fastball, curve ball @ change up. To be honest, I don't think he will be ready to pitch this year, his junior year. I do believe coming back from TJ surgery takes 12-18 months. He has been in therapy 3 days a week(for 2.5 hours each day) since May. He hopes that he will be able to hit, or at least play 1st base this year. My son tells me he feels like he has a new arm. He knows that the road ahead of him will not be easy. In the coming weeks, he will be working with his pitching coach(a former MLB pitcher) and his therapist together.I hope with all of his hard work, things will fall into place for him. Thanks for reading this! I will keep you posted.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Lark,

    My son had TJ surgery a 1-1/2 ago and came back pretty strong. He was able to pitch some his senior yr in hs and finished 7-1. At the time of his injury no colleges really wanted to talk with him except for one so he signed and received a sch. and we were thrilled. Went to play college ball and did very well. He was taken to a camp and was clocked at 92 with a consistent arm at 87-89 and then he quit college in Oct. He has a learning disibility and school has always been very hard for him to do. At this point he has a few colleges wanting him for next year but not sure what to do. He knows he made a mistake quitting but he can't go back and do anything about that. He reads your web-site and asked me to write to you and ask. What do you do after hs when you have talent, but cannot no matter how much you want to, succeed in college continue to play? We live in a tiny town with no one to ask for advise and anything you can give me would help. Someone told me for him to go try out for a minor league team but I think he is to young at 18 to do that. Thanks for you time!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Anon,

    It's an interesting question and I'll do my best to answer it. College isn't for everyone and in a perfect world that shouldn't impact his chances at a professional baseball career. But, unfortunately, in the United States, professional baseball leans heavily (almost exclusively) on high school and college programs to produce talent. In Latin America, you see very young prospects develop in baseball academies, but there really isn't a comparable program in the U.S.

    However, I can think of a few options for your son. Obviously, I haven't walked a mile in your son's shoes, so I can't tell you which option would be the best fit for him. But, here are the options that come to mind:

    Option 1 - If he has colleges interested in him, them he could return to school. Obviously, if your son really cannot succeed academically, then this option likely doesn't work. However, if the college has interest, then I'm sure you could discuss the situation with the coach to see if you can secure tutoring or academic support to help your son. I know colleges frequently (and may, in fact, be legally obligated to) provide "reasonable accommodations" to assist those with disabilities in their studies. And, of course, a college education is a nice fallback option if baseball doesn't work out.

    Option 2 - Your son could try to hook on with an independent minor league club. However, you cannot tryout directly for a minor league team affiliated with an MLB team. All the players on an affiliated minor league team are actually under contract with the MLB team. Affiliated minor league teams aren't involved in player personnel decisions, but rather focus on the business side of running the minor league team. However, there are independent minor leagues out there that sign prospects. From time to time, players in these leagues are signed out of the independent leagues by an MLB organization. These are the teams that sign top prospects who hold out after being drafted (Luke Hochevar, etc) and want to reenter the draft the following year.

    I found a good article about three independent leagues (Golden Baseball League, Northern League, and United League) who joined together in November 2010 to form the "North American League (NAL)". The new league is probably the biggest independent league and may represent the best opportunity to catch the eye of an MLB organization. Here's a link to the story: http://www.goldenbaseball.com/ArDisplay.aspx?ID=5538&SecID=303.

    Of course, there are other independent leagues out there. The Newark Bears play in the CanAm League. Here's a link: http://canamleague.com/. Also, the Long Island Ducks are an independent team and on their website they provide the contact information for inquiring about a tryout. Here's the link: http://www.liducks.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=faq.

    --continued--

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  50. --continued--

    Option 3 - Attend a major league tryout. From time to time, MLB organizations open up their doors to people off the street. They hold an open tryout for players to show what they can do and offer minor league contracts to those who catch the organization's eye. I'll say right up front that my understanding is that very few (if any) people who try out are actually offered a contract. But, there doesn't seem to be any real downside to this option. You can try out and if you don't make it, then you simply try something else. I can't, however, tell you when the organizations hold these tryouts, but I do think that most organizations have them once a year. I read about them on MLB.com from time to time, but you could probably contact one of the team's and ask if they have one scheduled.

    Option 4 - You could go to an amateur baseball game/tournament where you know a lot of elite talent will play. Obviously, amateur scouts follow the elite talent. Once you identify the scouts (usually they stand out, just look for radar guns, notebooks, etc), then you could ask them if they have any ideas for getting your son in front of scouts. If you catch them at the right time (I would suggest before or after the workouts/game actually starts or any time when they aren't working), then scouts are usually pretty willing to talk baseball. I'd probably start just by asking for general advice as a concerned father, rather than immediately asking for them to take a look at your son. But, maybe they'll have an idea or even be willing to give him a look.


    Those are the options that immediately leap to mind. Unfortunately, I can't tell you which is the best fit for your son, as that will depend on a number of factors, including his baseball and academic ability, whether he is mature enough to immediately handle the rigors of professional baseball, etc.

    Anyway, I hope that helps. Let me know if there is anything else I can do. Obviously, the vast majority of prospects come from the H.S. and college ranks, so picking another route might be difficult. At the same time, talent is talent and MLB teams do a pretty nice job of finding it....wherever it might be. So, if college isn't an option, then maybe one of these other avenues will work out.

    Anyway, I wish you guys the best of luck with your decision.

    Best,
    Lark

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  51. hey,

    My daughter had Tommy John surgery 3 months ago. She is a fastpitch softball pitcher. She has just started the tossing program. I am having a difficult time finding info specific to rehabing softball pitchers. We have the best doctor around and even he is not sure what to do other than follow the baseball protocol. I want to know if it is ok to start an underhand tossing program at this point. This would involve finger and wrist action to practice putting spin on the ball. No elbow action and no full windmill arm circles. Maybe from only a few feet from the catcher. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Brian

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  52. Brian,

    My apologies for not getting back to you sooner, but I was actually trying to find an answer for you. To be honest, I had never really considered fast pitch softball TJ surgeries, but it certainly makes sense that they would be necessary.

    Unfortunately, I really couldn't find a definitive answer to your question. On the one hand, conventional wisdom says that the underhand throwing motion is more natural than the overhand motion. However, I've also read that the underhand motion puts significantly more stress on the bicep than the overhand motion.

    So, in theory, I would imagine that you could follow this program. However, one thing that does make me a little nervous is the "finger and wrist action" that you mention. I'm not familiar with underhand fast pitching, so I don't know how this finger/wrist action will impact the elbow. Obviously, different grips and wrist actions can lead to different degrees and types of stress on the arm.

    So, since I can't give you a definitive answer, the best I can probably do for you is to direct to someone who can. Since you are around baseball/softball, I'm sure you've probably heard of Dr. James Andrews. He's probably the most famous TJ surgeon around and performs the procedure on a lot of the big name MLB players. However, he also works with amateurs and young kids. So, it's possible that you could get the answer to your question from his American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) in Birmingham.

    The answer might be on his website, ASMI.org, but I took a quick look and didn't see it. If you can't find the answer, then you might want to just contact them directly, here is the contact info:

    http://www.andrewscenters.com/getpage.php?name=contact&sub=About%20Us

    Given that they don't work solely with elite professionals, they might be able to provide an answer or direct you to someone locally who can. Given that you are dealing with your daughter's health, it's certainly worth exploring. At the very least, it couldn't hurt.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but I wish you and your daughter all the best on the road to recovery.

    Best,
    Lark

    ReplyDelete
  53. My son is 18 and had tommy johns 10 moths ago. He was throwing but then developed some minor pain in which the Md did another minor surgery. This was to shave a thin layer of tricep that was rubbing. Was suppose to be fine in 10 days but after 4 weeks he has pain in triceps when pushing that muscle. Md states will take time in which my son is not ready to do since baseball starts soon. Not asking for medical advice but mentally he is going down. He has been recruited by a couple d1 schools but are waiting to see how he recovers. HJe is ready to give up. Any thing I can do or say to him to help him mentally? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  54. Lark,

    Thanks so much for taking time to consider and answer my question. I will certainly follow up with the source you have suggetsted. A quick update - my daughter started throwing two weeks ago. Her PT has worked exclusively with overhand throwers so he was a little bit at a loss for how to handle the underhand situation. He has decided to create a hybrid throwing program for my daughter that incorporates both underhand and overhand throwing. Distances and time frame are similar to what you have posted above. So far so good. Both the doctor and the PT said no wrist action at this point. Guess we'll have to wait a while to break the rise ball back out.

    Thanks again,
    Brian

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  55. Concerned Mom,

    You hit upon one of the unappreciated challenges of Tommy John surgery. Baseball is built largely around the individual batter-pitcher confrontation, but it is definitely a team sport. So, the camaraderie among players is strong, but it is somewhat lost when a player suffers such a significant injury.

    The rehab from TJ surgery is physically grueling, but it can also be very isolating. There are a lot of challenges in the rehab process and the player faces them largely without his teammates. But, everyone suffers from doubts and down moments on the road back.

    On a positive note, you could remind him that the success rate of TJ surgery is very high. In fact, it's somewhere around 85%. So, if he continues to work diligently on his rehab, then it should pay off. Also, at his age, his chance at a baseball career simply isn't going to pass him by because of injury. He just needs to focus on getting healthy. If he does that, then he'll get his opportunity. It all comes down to ability, so he just needs to get healthy in order to regain his ability to pitch.

    At his age, he's got plenty of time. Even if the Division 1 schools aren't willing to wait on his recovery, he could attend a Junior College when healthy and work his way back to a Division 1 school. If he can pitch, he'll get an opportunity.

    Outside of that, maybe spending time around his teammates would give him a lift. There are psychological challenges to the rehab process, but there are better days ahead. It's a long, grueling process, but he just has to trust in that process. If he does, then the odds are very good that he'll return to what he was before the injury.

    Anyway, I wish your son all the best. Having a caring parent involved in the recovery and supporting him through the process is certainly a big positive. I have never actually undergone the procedure, so I don't have any first hand experiences to relate, but just encourage your son to grind it out. Don't give up now, because once it's gone, it's gone. And, baseball is definitely worth hanging onto. Trust in the process and have faith that better days are ahead. Good luck!

    Best,
    Lark

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  56. Brian,

    Thanks for the update! Sounds like your daughter is well on her way and found the answer to your question. Interesting to hear that her program involves both overhand and underhand throwing. Glad to hear that the wrist action is on hold for now and I'm sure the hitters are a bit relieved not to be facing that rise ball right now. :) Anyway, I hope the recovery continues to go smoothly and that she is back firing bullets in no time.

    Best,
    Lark

    ReplyDelete
  57. Lark,


    I wrote you several times(see above dates). My son had TJ Surgery last April 8, 2010. With hard work in rehab, he is playing baseball. He'll be able to play 1st base and hit. I must tell you, it has been a very tough road. He is now in 11th grade. He may pitch a few innings towards the end of the season, only fastballs. I told you that as a freshman he was throwing 82mph and hit 540 with his JV team. He missed last year, becuase of his surgery. I would advise anyone who had TJ Surgery, to not push it to pitch. My son has a great rehab team, who's helping him. From the doctor, to the therapist, to his pitching coach, they all know each other. In fact, his pitching coach had TJ Surgery and he knows the rehab program. He is a former major league pitcher. My son worked real hard with his therapist. Some days he wanted to hang it up, but kept going. His arm slot is good, range of motion is great and his shoulder is strong. As a pitcher, it's important to keep your shoulder strong. When it gets weak, you'll have problems. With God's help, he will pitch in his senior year. I am thankful to have great people around him, that know what they are doing. My son might go to a PG (Prep school) after high school, for 1 year. Ths will give him another year to improve and get more college's to look at him. Thanks for reading this!


    John

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  58. Lark~

    My son (17) had TJ surgery Jan. 14, 2011. His rehab has gone very well. He is starting on week 2 of his throwing program this week. My question is, I keep reading about the necessity of working on the strength in the shoulder as well. He ends PT this week, so I am concerned about how to proceed with that. Id there a shoulder strengthening protocol as well? I am also looking for a recommendation for a pitching coach in the San Diego,Ca area with post TJ experience. Any help is appreciated!!

    Donna

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  59. Donna,


    My son was 16 years old when he had his TJ Surgery(see above) The surgery was in April 8, 2010. This season(high school) he is playing 1st base and hitting, no pitching. He was going to rehab 3 days a week from April-Sept 2010. When school started he went to therapy 2 days a week until baseball season started March 2011. After the season he will go back to therapy. It's important that your son keeps his shoulder strong. If the shoulder become weak, then problems start to happen. My son works out with a former major league pitcher, who had TJ Surgery. This has help my son with his throwing program. He is also my son's asst coach. The rehab is 12-18 months, so don't rush getting your son back on the on mound. My son lost last year of baseball (10th grade). He'll be able to pitch 10-12 innings in the fall. Next year he'll be a senior and be back on the mound. After high school, my son will go to a prep school, to make up for the year he didn't play. I hope this has help you! Good Luck!

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  60. Donna,

    As Anon and John both mentioned, it is important to keep the shoulder strong. Also, if you look at the suggested schedule above, then you can see at the 2-3 month mark that you continue doing "upper extremity work, including rotator cuff." So, there is definitely a shoulder strengthening component. I would imagine it was built into his physical therapy program.

    As for a pitching coach in San Diego, I'm afraid I don't have personal knowledge of any in the area. However, the first name that came to mind was Tom House, who has worked with Southern California Major League pitchers. Researching Tom House led me to the National Pitching Association, as he's a member of the advisory board. I'd recommend checking out their website:

    http://www.nationalpitching.net/default.asp?

    There are a lot of current and former major league pitchers, coaches, and doctors (including Dr. James Andrews) associated with the NPA. Additionally, they have a list of coaches they have certified in various areas of the country, including Southern California:

    http://www.nationalpitching.net/certified.asp?

    Anyway, I wish I had a personal reference for you, but this might be an organization worth checking out.

    I believe Tom House is currently coaching the U.S.C. Trojans, so I'm not sure if he might also still be an option.

    Best of luck to you and your son. I hope it works out well for you!

    Best,
    Lark

    ReplyDelete
  61. John,

    Thanks for the update. It's always fun to hear how people are doing in their recovery. It sounds like he's on the right track and has good people aiding in his recovery. Unfortunately, it's a long road back, but if you put in the time and effort it pays off.

    Anyway, I wish you guys continued success on the road to recovery. Drop me a line and let me know how it's going.

    All the best,
    Lark

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  62. Thank you for the post. My name is nick and I just turn 16. And I'm thinking that I may need TJ surgery. But I'm not sure so I'm asking. I've had this pain in the area where this stuff is located. I am a picher and I started feeling the pain about a little over a month and at first I thought it was just pain and it would go away. But now the month later I still feel the pAin and it has gotten worse and hurts to fully extend my arm. What should I do?

    ReplyDelete
  63. Nick,

    You should go get your elbow checked out. It may turn out to be nothing, but it's better to be safe than sorry. And, given that you can't extend your arm fully without pain, it sounds like something more than just general soreness.

    It's impossible for me to say with any certainty, which is why you should get it checked. It could be a minor, trivial thing (inflammation, growing pains, etc) that is easily dealt with by your doctor, but you won't know that until you get it checked out. And, if there is just a minor problem, then you may be running the risk of making it significantly worse by not getting it checked out now.

    So, just to be on the safe side, get it checked out. Knowledge is power and you certainly don't want to take any chances with your arm. Good luck!

    Best,
    Lark

    ReplyDelete
  64. Lark,

    How are you? Here's a great story about my son and his TJ Surgery and his come back. It ran in about 4 local papers in my town. I hope you read it http://bit.ly/m4JArD and http://bit/mllDDs. I hope this gives some insight to all players who have to go through TJ Surgery, coaches, therapist, parents and etc.


    John

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  65. John,

    Wow, great article and thanks for sharing! I think it will really help readers who are going through the very same thing. I read the Brodeur article, but unfortunately couldn't get the link for the second one to open. Not sure if that's operator error on my part or if there's something wrong with the link.

    Anyway, sounds like you have a great team in place to help your son regain his form. I know it's a very long, mentally taxing recovery process, so I'm thrilled to hear that your son is thriving and putting the injury problems in the past.

    Thanks for update!

    Best,
    Lark

    ReplyDelete
  66. Lark,

    I am sorry. It was a typo on my part. Try this for the 2nd story http://bit.ly/mIIDDs. There was a great picture of my son, but it's not on the web. The 2nd story talks about 95% of pro/college players come back, and 75% of high school players come back. Great stuff! Lee Day is my son's therapist, he used to work for the NY Gaints. Sean Fesh a former pitcher, who had TJ Surgery, and his doctor, Dr. Micheal Redler.


    John

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  67. I had tommy john 8 weeks to this day and my arm is still not straight. When I stretch it out it gets to 3 degrees but when i am just regularly going about my day, it will be at about 10 degrees. is that anything to worry about?

    ReplyDelete
  68. Anon,

    The above mentioned timeline is just a guideline and everyone will react and recover differently. But, if you have concerns, then I would raise them with your doctor or physical therapist. And, of course, stay committed to your rehab. If you stay dedicated, then you should come out of it ok. But, run your question by your doctor or physical therapist just for your own peace of mind.

    Good luck in your recovery!

    Best,
    Lark

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  69. John,

    Thanks for the links! Glad to hear that things are progressing well and nice to see the media spend a bit more ink on the issue, as obviously it affects a lot of young athletes.

    Anyway, stay in touch!

    Best,
    Lark

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  70. Any suggestions for a hitting rehab? My son is 5 months removed from TJ surgery. He is up to 70 throws every other day and doing well. He was just cleared to start hitting but we can not find any rehab protocol. Thank you..

    ReplyDelete
  71. Anon,

    Unfortunately, I haven't come across any rehab protocol for hitters, either. It's actually something I was just thinking about because Reds shortstop Zack Cozart had TJ surgery and while he was reported to be on track to be ready by opening day, I was wondering how it would impact his offseason work.

    So, apologies, but I really don't have an answer for you on that one. I'm sure you're son's physical therapist will have some ideas on that, but failing that maybe someone on here who has undergone the surgery/rehab will chime in on their experiences.

    Anyway, best of luck to your son as he works his way back.

    Best,
    Lark

    ReplyDelete
  72. Lark/Anon,


    When my son had TJ Surgery in 10th grade, he came back to hit last year for his high school team. He had to play 1st base all the time, so he had his good moments hitting and bad. I was impress how well he did. He's a left hand picther(see above Lark) and bats from the left side. He batted 5 most of the year and had 18rbi. I am goign to honest anon, some games it wa not pretty at the plate. You can read my several post on this site, the most recent July 4th and 5h, 2011. My son is throwing 83 mph on flat ground. He is much strong and will be ready to start hitting for the season soon. Please don't get upset if your son starts out not to good in he begining. Lark you have read my post about my son. He was in the paper about his TJ Surgery. My son started off hitting tennis balls off a tee for 2-3 weeks, then he went to soft toss. Then he went to his hitter coach throwing to hom. I hope this helps with the anon post above.


    John

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  73. I am just at 6 months after surgery. My arm feels great no pain in my elbow only a little bit of tightness in my bicep. I am just curious if it is bad that my arm is 11 degrees from being fully straight. They were able to wrap the tendon through the bone 3 times. I did not know if this was the reason why or what. thanks for the help!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hey Anon,

    Thanks for chiming about your son. I'm sure others at the beginning of the TJ recovery appreciate hearing about your sons experiences with it. Really provides good perspective on what they are facing and how to deal with it. So, thanks for that!

    Best,
    Lark

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  75. Anon,

    Apologies for not getting back to you sooner. Unfortunately, I don't have a good answer for you. The recovery from these procedures are just too individualized for me to say with any certainty. I'd definitely raise the question with your doctor or physical therapist, as I'm sure they could address it. Or, maybe someone on here who has been through it first hand will be able to provide some insight on that.

    If your tendon was wrapped through 3 times, then maybe that is the reason why you have yet to regain full extension of your arm. Still, you have a ways to go in your recovery, so I wouldn't get too discouraged. Just stick with your rehab program and stay committed to doing all the long, hard stretching and strengthening work that comes with it and the odds are in favor of you coming out of it just fine.

    Good luck on the recovery!

    Best,
    Lark

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  76. hi i have a question that i was hoping you could answer. i had tommy john about 5 mounths ago. i am breifly into my throwing program ( 60 throws from 60ft) and was waundering when i could start lifting HEAVY weights. obviously i know that i wont be right were i left off but was waundering when i could start up again so i dont get to far behind when it comes to game play.
    Thanks in advance.

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  77. Excuse me,I'm a Taiwanese.
    I want to asked a question about this rehab protocol.
    Could it use to every type of pitcher? The sidearm pitcher can use it too??

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  78. Ya Han Hu,

    This is a general rehab program that should work for all baseball players, including side-arm pitchers. Of course, your doctor will give you a specific program, but this is a typical recovery program.

    I'm not sure if this program would apply to a softball pitcher, who pitches underhand exclusively, but it should apply to all baseball players.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Best,
    Lark

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  79. Hi. My daughter is baseball player and underwent tj surgery in March 2012, she was 13. Pitcher, catcher... She has been experiencing pain in her elbow. We went back to her doctor and he said she needs surgery again. Her nerve is laying on her muscle. Everytime she grips a pencil, plays her trumpet or even watching Tv, she hurts. The surgery is so invasive. He said they need to insert a couple stitches, desolvable, and this would take care of the problem. Is there a less invasive procedure? Thank you.

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  80. All Natural,

    Most people are blissfully unaware how invasive and traumatic TJ surgery can be. However, since your daughter has gone through it, you are undoubtedly aware of how much work is done on the elbow and all the complexities that go into the procedure. The elbow emerges in different form than it was before the injury.

    As a result, there are a lot of issues that can crop, including nerve issues. I'm not a medical professional and unfortunately the proper course of care for your daughter will depend on the specifics of her case. So, best option is to follow your doctor's advice or, if you want to be safe, get a second (and/or third) opinion before proceeding.

    I wish I could be of more help, but I hope things work out well for your daughter.

    Best,
    Lark

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