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Tulane Doctors ~ Orthopaedics ~ Throwing Injury

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baseball pitcherThrowing sports, such as baseball, put a tremendous amount of stress on the shoulder and elbow. As more athletes play baseball and softball at younger ages, elbow and shoulder pitching injuries have become more common. The most devastating of these is a torn ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow, which is also known as the medical collateral ligament. Because of the severity of this injury, it often needs an elbow ligament reconstruction known as a "Tommy John" procedure. These types of tears result in pain located on the inner side of the elbow when throwing, which causes difficulty in controlling the pitch. When symptoms are mild, rest and medication may take care of the problem. However, if the athlete is not capable to pitch due to the pain then a "Tommy John" operation is needed.