Shohei Ohtani’s Injury Shakes the Baseball World
In a shocking turn of events, Shohei Ohtani’s recent injury has become the talk of the baseball community. As the star pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani’s absence for the rest of the season is a devastating blow to his team.
Ohtani’s injury stems from a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow, which may require him to undergo Tommy John surgery. This type of injury is not unfamiliar in the baseball world, as players like Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies have also battled with it.
Interestingly, while Harper continued to hit as a designated hitter last season and during the playoffs, Ohtani’s injury prevents him from pitching. Many wonder why players can continue hitting with a torn UCL but are unable to pitch.
To shed light on this question, we turned to Dr. Rodney Benner, an esteemed orthopedic surgeon. According to Dr. Benner, the UCL is the primary stabilizing ligament inside the elbow. Repetitive throwing motions, such as pitching, can place immense strain on the UCL, leading to tears.
When a UCL tear occurs, the elbow becomes unstable, resulting in reduced throwing velocity and accuracy, particularly in overhead pitching. While some players have successfully undergone rehabilitation for partially torn UCLs without surgery, the effectiveness of this treatment depends on the severity of the injury and overall stability of the elbow.
Dr. Benner also mentioned that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can assist in soft tissue healing. However, if the ligament fails to heal properly, Tommy John surgery is typically recommended. This surgical procedure involves replacing the damaged UCL with a tendon from another part of the body or a donor.
Interestingly, players are able to continue hitting with a torn UCL because it does not put as much strain on the elbow as pitching does. Hitting does not increase the risk of additional injury to the ligament, providing some relief to players dealing with this unfortunate situation.
As Ohtani recovers from his injury, fans and experts alike are eagerly awaiting updates on his condition. The baseball world hopes for a successful rehabilitation period for Ohtani as he works towards returning to the mound in the future. Until then, the impact of his absence will undoubtedly be felt throughout the remainder of the season.
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