Elbow injuries are a painful setback for anyone. As a pitcher, though, the ramifications of such an injury are far-reaching. On a personal level, it’s challenging to hold back from participating in a sport they love. For the team, there’s added stress when they’re down a player.
Recently signed to the L. A. Angels, pitcher Sheohei Ohtani was diagnosed with a first-degree sprain of his right ulnar collateral ligament. To put it simply, his physical revealed a mild strain in the elbow of the arm he throws with.
Common in pitchers, the condition is a result of repetitive forceful motions, such as throwing. For some, the condition can require surgery. Fortunately for Ohtani, MRI scans revealed his condition was mild and consistent with other pitchers in his age range. Any concerns over whether or not his injury would hold him back from playing were allayed and the team is happy to have him on board.
For now, treatment of his injury has included PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections. This specific treatment has yielded positive results so far. Other players, like Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees and Chris Sale of the Red Sox, have used PRP injections as well. So far, they’ve gone on to play without further injury, suggesting this method is an appropriate option.
For players who develop more serious elbow conditions, surgery is often a necessary option.
Elbow injuries can sideline anyone. Physical activity and sports, such as tennis, golf, and baseball, can lead to painful sprains. As with any other ailment, reaching out to a care provider sooner rather than later can lead to a quicker diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
If you suspect you may have an elbow injury, please reach out to the professionals at The Hand And Wrist Institute for more information or to set up an appointment.