Mets’ pitcher Steven Matz has endured numerous injuries throughout his Major League Baseball career since being drafted from Ward Melville High School back in 2009. From going through Tommy John surgery, to having a latissimus tear, to having a bone spur removed from his elbow, his career has been plagued by injury after injury. Unfortunately for Matz, the 2017 baseball season has brought more of the same for him and his season has once again ended in the same storyline–injury.
Not long after the Mets drafted Matz back in 2009, he underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. While this is a common surgery for many pitchers to have to go through due to the strain they put on their pitching elbow, it is still debilitating and led to a two-year recovery for Matz. That operation seemed to set a tone for Matz’s career as he has landed on the disabled list many times with countless injuries, including a 2016 season-ending shoulder injury and bone spur removal surgery in his left elbow.
His latest setback has landed him right back in the same place his career started–with a left elbow injury. What started out at the beginning of the 2017 season as elbow inflammation and discomfort in Matz’s left elbow has now turned into an ulnar nerve irritation diagnosis. Two days after the diagnosis, Matz underwent yet another surgery on his left elbow to reposition the ulnar nerve.
When the ulnar nerve gets irritated, it can cause pain, numbness, a tingling feeling, and eventually weakness in a person’s hand and forearm according to scientific research. Thus, a Major League Baseball pitcher such as Steven Matz who is putting so much stress and strain on his pitching elbow would definitely feel pain, discomfort, and irritation when dealing with an injury to the ulnar nerve.
There is good news, however, to the tragic saga of injury after injury that Mets’ pitcher Steven Matz has faced. The recovery time for surgery to reposition the ulnar nerve is only 3-6 months compared to a 12-18 month recovery period for Tommy John surgery. According to this article, the keys to a full recovery from ulnar nerve surgery are regaining full range of motion as quickly as possible and making sure that all rehab activities are accomplished below the pain/nerve irritability threshold. Contact the Hand and Wrist Institute for more information on elbow injuries.