Compression Sleeve Sensor May Reduce Tommy John Surgeries In Throwing Athletes

The orthopedic surgeons at Scottsdale Liberty Hospital are some of the best in industry. They perform a number of common surgical procedures on patients suffering from a wide array of bone, joint, ligament, tendon, and muscle injuries and conditions. When it comes to orthopedic injuries in athletes, our surgeons frequently repair partially or fully torn ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

In baseball players and some football players, the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in the elbow is increasingly susceptible to damage from repeated throwing motions. If this ligament ruptures, a Scottsdale Liberty Hospital physician will likely perform Tommy John surgery.

Tommy John surgery is a common surgical procedure that was first performed in 1974 by a Los Angeles Dodgers orthopedic surgeon named Dr. Frank Jobe. The procedure is named after the first baseball player to undergo the surgery, Tommy John. Today, this surgery is performed on many collegiate and professional athletes in several sports, and it’s usually a last-resort option for players who’ve partially or fully torn their UCL.

According to Wired (http://www.wired.com/2016/06/motus-pro-sensor-baseball-mlb/), Tommy John surgeries may become less frequent for baseball players thanks to a new invention called the Motus Pro sensor. This small device is about the weight of a quarter, and it is helping athletic trainers better understand how much stress is being placed on the elbow during certain pitches. The Motus Pro features an accelerometer and gyroscope to identify factors that may contribute to UCL-related injuries. This invention, combined with sensors in baseball bats and special software can help trainers pinpoint pitching discrepancies in real-time.

Fortunately, this invention couldn’t be coming at a better time. A little less than two years ago, Tommy John surgeries were considered an epidemic due to an unprecedented increase in elbow injuries. While it’s our orthopedic surgeons job to repair these injuries, most of our physicians understand surgery is a significant undertaking, which is why they support efforts being made to lessen the frequency of these injuries. If you believe you’re at risk of developing an elbow related injury, be sure to mention your concerns with your coach or athletic trainer.

If it’s too late and the damage has already been done, consider calling Scottsdale Liberty Hospital today to meet with an orthopedic surgeon. While our surgeons work at various practices throughout the Valley, our medical staff can point you in the right direction based on your condition and location.

For more information on Scottsdale Liberty Hospital and how we can help you or a loved one, visit our information request page, or contact us at 480-586-2300

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.