How a surgical wave in the US causes trouble

How a surgical wave in the US causes trouble

© Getty Images
Noah Syndergaard started a wave with his elbow surgery

This causes a lot of turmoil in the MLB: Because of the seasonal start caused by the corona crisis and postponed indefinitely, some baseball players in the USA use the unexpected forced break for an operation on the elbow.

Pete Alonso protects his teammate on Twitter

© / Pete Alonso
Pete Alonso protects his teammate on Twitter

About a quarter of all MLB pitchers have already completed the so-called “Tommy John Surgery” – a standard surgical procedure that is usually not given much attention, after all, the elbow joints are particularly stressed, especially for the throwers.

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The athletes can have their stressed joints and tendons replaced, as did Mets star Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets: the star player underwent an operation at the end of March.

Healing time of one year

The timing of the procedure appears favorable due to the late start of the season, especially since the optimal healing time is about one year, so the idle time can now be used to recover.

But because of the corona pandemic, which is currently particularly hard on the United States, many consider a decision to have such an operation to be questionable or immoral.

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Interventions such as Thommy John Surgery should be postponed to keep hospital capacity free for corona patients, critics like American medical ethicist Lee Igel argue: “It’s a no-go, because what we have to do in the world now is not a question of people’s livelihood, but of people’s lives. ”

In the New York Times the professor criticized: “There is a big difference. It is simply not the time for a Tommy John operation.”

Explosive in the Syndergaard case: The 27-year-old received treatment in the state of Florida, who had recently prescribed that medical resources be kept free for life-support measures during the crisis.

What exactly falls under this is controversial. The Mets point to a torn tendon in Syndergaard’s elbow, which requires medical intervention. “From a club perspective, this has to be done as quickly as possible,” said the former Mets manager and today MLB network Expert Jim Duquette.

Teammate takes Syndergaard under protection

Because of the one-year competition break, other baseball stars have also undergone the procedure, including Red Sox star Chris Sale. The players defend themselves against criticism of this, teammate Pete Alonso, for example, protects Syndergaard.

“Who condemns medical needs that you have to fulfill to practice your profession?” Wrote the 25-year-old on Twitter. “Noah’s surgery or that of other athletes should not be questioned because it is performed by orthopedic surgeons, not those who fight the pandemic at the front.”

Giant debate in the United States

As the elbows heal, the discussion continues to grow – it is expected that more baseball players will have surgery on their elbows.

It is also worth noting that the name of the operation is not due to a surgeon, but rather to a baseball player.

Tommy John, who worked for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, California Angels between 1963 and 1989, had his injured elbow operated on this way for the first time 44 years ago.

Doctors gave the 76-year-old little chance of subsequently being able to do high-performance sport again. But Tommy John’s joint healed excellently – and the baseball surgery par excellence was born.

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