Dr. Anthony Romeo, Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush Sports Medicine, Elbow and Shoulder Surgeon, sits down with WGN-TV anchor Larry Potash to discuss what he calls the Tommy John epidemic among teenaged pitchers. Romeo says 50 percent of the elbow injury patients he sees are young baseball pitchers between the ages of 15 and 19, and that percentage is increasing by nine percent every year.
Romeo says the rapid increase is based on a number of factors, including young athletes’ focus on playing one sport. Statistics even show the amount of injuries increases in warmer areas, where pitchers can play baseball year round and develop overuse injuries more frequently.
He recommends playing more than one sport and says, “the best way to get to the next level is to diversify and become the best athlete possible.” In addition, he encourages pitchers to check out shouldersforlife.org and mlb.com/PitchSmart.