Dr. Mark Cohen Talks IHSA Pitch Count Guidelines, Tommy John Surgery

March 9, 2017

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The hot topic of youth pitching injuries made the news again. This story by sports writer David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune features Matt Blaney, a patient of Dr. Mark Cohen (elbow and throwing injury expert at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush), a senior in high school hoping for a Naval Academy appointment.  Matt’s story, which includes playing baseball from a young age, year-round pitching, throwing in four games over three days, ended with a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), requiring Tommy John surgery at 16.

“When I started 24 years ago, we’d see one or two (teenage Tommy John patients) a year, but now we’ll see four or five in a week every summer,” Cohen explains.

Cohen also describes his surprise that there are young pitchers who have sought out this procedure electively.

“The myths are incredible and, yes, we have parents and kids coming to essentially become bionic and who see the surgery as almost a rite of passage,” Cohen said.

The article also discusses the new IHSA rule limiting pitch count to 105 per game and requiring four days of rest afterward.


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