Could an app actually prevent pitchers from needing Tommy John surgery? A possible breakthrough in technology could help pitchers all across the world help prevent the infamous surgery that only has about a 50 percent chance of success after it’s performed of continued success.
Famous surgeon Dr. James Andrews has performed countless TJ surgeries in his life and he, along with a colleague of his, have spearheaded an app that is about to be released via iOS and Android within the next few weeks. Andrews and his colleague, Dr. Kevin Wilk, call this app “Throw Like a Pro”, and it’ll help assist pitchers keep track of many elements that are scientifically proven to prevent TJ surgery.
Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Chris Withrow is unfortunately yet another victim that needs TJ surgery to give him hope of continuing his professional baseball career due to a torn ligament in his throwing arm. The list so far in 2014 stands at 20 pitchers sidelined for the rest of the year due to this surgery and for years, both Andrews and Wilk have collected plenty of data to help conjure preventative methods.
This new app will finally help bring incredible knowledge to athletes, parents and coaches on how to prevent throwing injuries by making sure it starts at the youngest age possible. It comes directly from surgeons who have studied this type of epidemic for over a decade now that has caused superstar careers to end prematurely.
They always say knowledge is power and in this case, it couldn’t have come at a better time. It seems like every few weeks another young prospect needs to get TJ surgery and now an app of this magnitude can help everyone get a better grasp on the reality that prevention is truly the only key to helping this cause.
The app will feature recommendations directly from the American Sports Medicine Institute to help pitchers focus on mechanics rather than speed to prolong careers. It will also educate on how not to strain certain muscles that could potentially tear over time. Preparation guides, pregame routines and video instructions will help pitchers have a convenient location for this wealth of knowledge either on their cell phones, tablets or computers.
The greatest feature of this app lies in that it has a pitch counter and rest calculator that if used properly, could be instrumental in preventing TJ surgeries. It calculates many factors from age, number of pitches, the kind of pitches thrown and when is the most ideal time to completely stop pitching duties to allow natural healing.
Overusing pitchers seems to be one of the catalysts that leads to TJ surgery, so perhaps with technology of this magnitude in the hands of many, it could finally help stop the latest rash of TJ surgeries that’s been hitting MLB quite hard this season.