Characteristics of Major League Baseball Pitchers After Single and Revision Tommy John Surgery

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Joint Statistical Meetings


Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, known as Tommy John Surgery (TJS), is now prevalent among Major League Baseball (MLB) pitchers. While literature on TJS exists, there is still a need for investigations to understand recovery and post-surgery performance in MLB pitchers after a second, revision TJS. This study aimed to characterize MLB pitchers who underwent a single and a revision TJS. Data on MLB pitchers with TJS and their post-surgery performance were collected from publicly available domains. Characteristics of pitchers receiving TJS between 1999 and 2019 were described and compared by the number of TJSs. We identified 50 MLB pitchers who underwent TJS twice (= 2 TJSs group) during that span, while 306 MLB pitchers received it once (= 1 TJS group). While recovery time was not significantly different between the two groups [median = 19 months (2 TJSs group) vs. 16 months (1 TJS group); exact p = 0.111], there was a significant between-groups difference in innings pitched post-surgery [0-718 innings (2 TJSs group) vs. 0-2207 innings (1 TJS group); exact p = 0.005). MLB pitchers who underwent revision TJS tend to have reduced playing time post-injury.


Tommy John Surgery; ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction; Major League Baseball; MLB; recovery; performance


Sports Sciences | Sports Studies

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