The Scoop on Yu Darvish's Elbow Injury - CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System

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Published on March 13, 2015

The Scoop on Yu Darvish's Elbow Injury

Jayesh Patel, MD
Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

Elbow AnatomySad news for all you Ranger fans. It looks like Yu Darvish will be out for the year due to his elbow injury. Yu appears to have suffered and injury to his Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) or more commonly known as the “Tommy John Ligament”. The UCL is a ligament on the inside part of the elbow that provides stability to the elbow when pitchers throw the baseball. This is an injury caused from overuse and poor throwing mechanics. We have seen what seems to be an epidemic in MLB of these types of injuries. This injury is unfortunately common in our younger high school pitchers. Most of the reason for these problems is overuse. Our children are sometimes throwing to much and not allowing their bodies to rest and heal. The American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and Little League Baseball have come up with guidelines on pitch count and types of pitches that are appropriate for younger baseball pitchers. The following article is a good summary that all coaches and parents should review to help prevent overuse injuries. If your child or athlete complains of elbow pain, please have them see a sports medicine physician as soon as possible so we can try to prevent injures like tears of the “Tommy John Ligament.” Most of the time, simple rest with heal the ligament and usually doesn’t need to undergo surgery. If this fails then surgery is required to reconstruct the ligament. There is a 12-18 month recovery after surgery.

Please contact a sports medicine specialist if you have any questions or concerns.