More kids nationwide are throwing year round
Kids are throwing 90+ at younger & younger ages
We are seeing a huge increase in Tommy John surgeries for teenagers
It blows my mind that some people might think that taking 2-3 months off from throwing could be detrimental to arm health. Is that really the case? Or is the problem with taking 2-3 months from throwing that it can potentially slow down development?
Yes, we are seeing an increase in TJ surgeries for teenagers, but to assume this correlates with an increase in actual injuries is a logical fallacy. An increase in the number of surgeries on teenagers only means that more teenagers are undergoing surgery for an injury that, in the past, wasn't treated with surgery.
I like to use this example. From 1969 to 1986, artificial hearts were implanted in approximately 100 cases. IN 1986, the Jarvik-7 greatly increased the use of such devices and by 2010, there were some 1300 implants. Now, does this mean heart disease has increased by 1 million percent? NO, of course not. It simply means that the way we treat heart disease has changed an a particular surgery that was once reserved for only the most desperate of cases is now routine. Same with TJ. Rates of TJ surgery are going up because 1) it's now a more accepted surgery at all ages, 2) a LOT more doctors now have the expertise necessary to use the procedure, 3) the results have been good enough to convince doctors to go the surgical route with patients they would not have deemed surgery cases in the past, and 4) we get our young pitchers medical help much quicker than in the past.
Now, none of this proves that injury rates aren't on the increase with teem pitchers. However, it shows very viable factors affecting the increase in the number of surgeries that don't depend on an injury rate increase.