Increasingly, high school athletes and younger are facing a major operation developed for professional players: "Tommy John surgery," in which a torn elbow ligament is replaced with a wrist or leg tendon. The operation is named after the former major league pitcher who first underwent the procedure in 1974. One of the nation's leading sports medicine specialists, James Andrews of Birmingham, Ala., performed nine of the operations on high school players from 1995 to 1998. He did 61 from 1999 to 2002 and 148 from 2003 to 2006.Be patient, Yankees fans! Only a few more outings until Joba can handle the workload of an 11 year-old!
In response to the rash of injuries, Little League Baseball rolled out a system last year that dictates the number of pitches thrown a game based on the player's age. An 11- or 12-year-old, for example, is allowed as many as 85 pitches in one outing. players 10 or younger can make up to 75 pitches.
Monday, June 9, 2008
USA Today has a story up about the high stress on -- and high injury rates of -- young arms: