Q&A: What’s next for Shohei Ohtani and the Angels in the wake of his torn UCL?
The Los Angeles Times reports on Shohei Ohtani's ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tear that will keep him from pitching the remainder of the season. David W. Altchek, MD, co-chief emeritus of the HSS Sports Medicine Institute discusses UCL tears and what this means for Ohtani and the Angels.
Can UCL tears be prevented? “That’s an enormous area of debate,” said Dr. Altchek.
“There’s a direct correlation between the velocity you throw and the incidence of UCL tears,” Dr. Altchek said. “So a particular player throwing 100 mph puts them in the high-risk category, in my opinion. What adds to the high-risk category can be throwing weighted balls. I understand that throwing weighted balls increases your velocity, but they also, in my opinion, increase your risk of injuring your UCL.”
Dr. Altchek discusses the success rate of players returning from Tommy John Surgery. “It works,” he said. “Done correctly, people can come back at the same level.”
For patients seeking to come back after more than one Tommy John surgery, however, the chances of returning at the same level begins to decrease, Dr. Altchek said.
“Once you start getting out there, that number drops in half,” explained Dr. Altchek. “So three Tommy Johns, you’re fighting to get back.”
Read the full article at latimes.com.