Biologics may decrease the epidemic of Tommy John surgery
Dr. Eric Makhni discusses how biologics have shown up to 67% efficiency in repairing the UCL and preventing reconstruction or repair.
Team physician for the Detroit Lions, Bloomfield Hills High School, and Oakland University as well as a consultant for the Angles, Dr. Makhni knows the body and injuries.
One of his best traits is his ability to talk to patients and help them understand the injury and healing process. Being a great physician is important, but communicating that to patients is equally valuable.
What common injuries are we seeing in youth-related to sport specialization and overuse?
Tommy John surgery is the big one – a partial or full-thickness tear of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL).
Pitchers are the most frequent but catchers are right behind them in the frequency of UCL injuries.
Stress fractures are also common among middle-school-age (10-13) athletes
What do you think are some contributing factors?
- YEAR-ROUND SPORTS (single sport) are by far the worst culprit for overuse injuries.
- Kids are throwing harder at younger ages.
- Poor mechanics.
- CORE ACTIVATION
- Weighted ball routines
Discuss the evaluation process
- Look at the age of the athlete
- Listen to their complaints
- is it fatigue or pain
- constant or only after pitching
- Ask more questions
- Determine the patient's goals
- Perform any manual tests needed
What new surgical procedures are being used?
If possible the surgeon should try to repair the UCL with internal bracing. The recovery time is significantly decreased.
Biologics such as PRP and Amniotic stem cells can be used in partial tears.
The use of Biologics, for the most part, is not covered by insurance, so if you are going to travel that road make sure you discuss it with your doctor and find one who knows baseball and the demands.
Watch the Biologics and Surgical repair of the elbow Facebook live
Dr. Eric Makhni – www.EricMakhniMD.com
John Ciecko – @JohnCiecko
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