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50% torn ucl.  TOTAL Rest for 2 months.  4 weeks rehab, then 10 week ramp up throwing program. Continues strength program designed to take stress off elbow..............which everyone should do, but usually does not until they get injured.

Thought he might be a candidate for the new sheath / tape procedure, but do to the fact that he was going to be a OF in college, he just had to give up P a year early.

Last edited by russinfortworth
@2022NYC posted:

My kid got the elbow ligament repair, TJ was considered but since he was not a pitcher the Ortho was confident this was the best and quickest path getting the kid back on the field

Son played w/ a 2023 P that is going D1 who had this done also.

I'm guessing they determine based on the degree / location of tear.

I see that they are going to start using this on ACL tears (which my son had in Oct 2020).  It will shorten the rehab time, as it gets them back into PT quicker and w/ more stability, ergo, less risk of re-injuring during PT.

Last edited by russinfortworth

I'll chime in here, first-hand experience. Some call it Tommy John Lite.

Last year my RHP son (D2 college) started the season and pitched until he could no longer ignore the pain and an MRI showed a partial tear. Since he was a Jr set to graduate this year, and not a draft prospect, he told me that he wasn't going to do TJ because he'd already be graduated by the time rehab was complete. He was prepared to hang up the cleats and get on with life. He and I discussed this with the ortho surgeon. The surgeon asked if he was open to a newer type of surgery called Internal Brace. He said an ortho surgeon that he had done his residency with did a good many of them with great results, some for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. So we listened as he laid out the 3-4 month timeline before he could start a throwing in rehab, and then expected to be full-go in 6-7 months. He pretty much guaranteed that if everything went as expected, he'd be ready for spring practice. Son decided to move forward with the surgery, and had it done the day after his last exam May 2021. Everything went as expected. He's still building up his arm and pitch count, but he's back and playing his Sr season, velo is almost where it was pre-surgury. Got his first regular season action in relief on Saturday, and it went as well as it could have. 2 k's, a fly ball, and a walk in an inning of work.

Internal Brace has allowed him (so far) to play out his Sr year in college. Less than a year ago I thought he was done.

Last edited by 24fan

First hand experience with both. Eldest son (RHP) had traditional TJ. Middle son (javelin thrower) had TJ Lite + labrum repair.

As stated above, recovery for TJ Lite is much faster because it's a repair of the existing ligament rather than a replacement. Therefore no ligmentization of another type of tissue is needed. The ligmentization process is what takes so long for TJ recovery, and uncontrollable variables in that process are one of the factors in TJ recurrence.

The internal brace was described by #2's doctor as a "kevlar bandaid." It essentially becomes part of the ligament as it heals, providing permanent reinforcement. Doctor said that in theory it is practically impossible to re-tear the UCL after this procedure, though there is no long-term data available since the procedure is relatively new.

Contrary to 24fan, it can be done on a fully-torn UCL. (My #2 son's was a complete tear.) The primary limiting factor is actually the nature of the tear. A long-term, progressive tear ("chronic tear") will typically have a lot of fraying, ragged edges, scar tissue, and calcification, which makes it unrepairable and therefore traditional TJ is required. A "clean" tear due to a single overload ("acute tear") is generally necessary for TJ Lite.

Unfortunately, MRI images may not be able to show whether the condition of the torn UCL is suitable for TJ Lite. We went into #2's surgery expecting TJ but hoping for TJ Lite.

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