elbow irritation after tommy john surgery one year ago.

My son had tommy john surgery oct. 17, 2007. He did very well in his rehab and throwing program. He started pitching very little in fall ball games after permission from doctor and year since his operation was up.


Last Sunday he was pitching in a game and heard a pop in his elbow and his elbow felt dead and swelled up. He said it was a pop he felt in his elbow but not right where the operation was. He felt a pop but did not hear it. After that his arm felt dead and he was taken out of the game.

He said he did all before the game stretches and drills. He only threw 15 pitches in the game. He has no pain and the swelling has gone down after three days but a little is still there. His doctors nurse told us to wait a week and light toss in a week to see how is elbow feels. She thinks it maybe scar tissue breaking up in there and this did occur with another player last year who had this operation. Of course, if it still is swollen and feels dead, we will take him to get it checked out.

Just wondering what you think since I found this site. He had just started working on his curve ball again that may be the cause. He has taken it slow and the coach is real good about that. Have you heard of scar tissue popping in the elbow after this surgery and what do you think could cause the swelling and deadness?

Thanks.

Comments for elbow irritation after tommy john surgery one year ago.

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Oct 30, 2008
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elbow irritation
by: Bart - SII

It is possible for him to be dealing with some scar tissue or adhesions in the elbow following the UCL reconstruction. If he has just recently starting throwing the curve, he could have broken up an adhesion, causing the pop.

This type of thing can cause some pain, swelling, and even a dead arm feeling, depending on where the adhesion was. It shouldn't cause any type of instability.

The other thing that could be going on is an irritation of the ulnar nerve. Sometimes the nerve can move out of its normal groove, causing a popping feeling and creating a dead arm sensation, with mild swelling and some pain. This can be accompanied by tingling/numbness along the pinkie and ring finger and outside of the palm.
Ulnar nerve instability after a tommy john procedure is not uncommon.

I would rest and ice for a few days, follow your doctors advice, and then recheck if things don't start to get better.

Bart

Jan 26, 2010
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My son also had Tommy john surgery in 2007
by: Anonymous

My son is in his senior year in college. He had the surgery in 2007 and has not been 100% yet. He struggled this past summer with a shoulder injury, it is better, however now he is having pain in elbow again. He is determined to pitch this season. An xray should nothing. I feel he needs an MRI and I don't think his trainer and coach are very proactive; however, I have tried to let them do their job. My son loves baseball more than anything and was a weekend starter his freshman year. His team has won numerous titles and has appeared in the College World Series. What should be concerned the most about and this be something that could be taken care of so he could pitch this season?

Apr 14, 2010
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tommy johns surgery
by: Anonymous

my 15 year old son had tommy johns surgery last year and is in his 11 month of recovery,he is experiencing pain deap in his tricep musle after he throws,is this normal or something to be concerned about.

Jun 28, 2010
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im in pro ball 11 months out of TJ
by: Anonymous

i just threw my first live inning in a game and i felt great in the bullpen, then i went out there and didnt feel so comfortable. I had some pain towards the end of the inning and it was getting worse. the UCL is very sturdy and strong but i have pain on the bone on the inside of the elbow. I have been talking to trainers and doctors trying to find out why this pain wont go away. Also after it gets painfull its hard to straighten it out all the way without too much pain. I think its just my forearm muscles that are being overworked rite now but if anyone has had any similar feelings let me know...

Jul 10, 2010
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post tommy john
by: Anonymous

My son had TJS in March 2009, did all the rehab after the surgery and starting the throwing program, could long toss and flat ground throw and felt fine, as soon as he went to the mound, had pain,tingling. Ended up having another surgery to move the nerve in April 2010, everything seems to be fine now, starting throwing of the mound in july, and is having some soreness in the elbow area, hoping this is normal?

Aug 01, 2010
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pain post tommy john sugery
by: Anonymous

I am in pro-ball, a CSCS and a recipient of Tommy John. A lot of post-surgical pain can be related to scar tissue built up in the elbow. To alleviate this alternate between cold 15-20 mins and a hot pad 15-20. Do this 3-4 times daily. Back off the throwing, only taking what the pain in your elbow is giving u. Also, you need to call the surgeon and ask if there was a cleaning of the elbow as well. 99/100 times they do clean the entire joint. Also ask if the Ulnar nerve has been moved. A lot of times if the nerve is low on the ulna it can become pinched, resulting in tingling senation down the inside of the arm to the pinky, as well as a heavy and weak feeling, expecially when gripping. Sometimes there are bone spurs, chips and "floating" catilage in the elbow. If these do not get cleaned out, the substances can limit range of motion as well as cause pain. An MRI can show these sometimes. A good way to tell is if there is pain on the posterior (back) of the elbow, occuring more on the humeral (biceps bone) side. This garbage has to be cleaned out through surgery. The usual shelf time is about 2 months. However; I have heard of people taking time off, normally 6-10 weeks, letting the swelling subside. After getting on a strictly regimented throwing program, range of motion returns as well as a reduction in pain.
As far as being able to throw long toss, flat grounds and bull-pens without pain, can be related to a few things. The worst is the obvious, another UCL tear an MRI will tell. Keep in mind there is UCL ligament "bundle" (the actual Ulnar collateral ligament and the Anterior Portion), a tear in either of these can be detreimental to the throwing motion. Another is the aboved mentioned scar tissue or garbage in the joint. Another could be mechanics changing from the different settings. (I know when I get a little amped up, my mechanics have been known to change). Another could be a strained muscle or tendon. Forearm extensor muscles are among the most taxed in the throwing motion as well as some of the most strained, along with short and long head biceps, and long head triceps. the remedy for this is time, rest and ice. Along with mild anti-inflamatory.
Hope this has been helpfull.

Aug 17, 2010
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Elbow Spurs
by: Anonymous

My son had surgery on his elbow for spurs late May early June. The doctor told him he would be 100% within 2 months. Within a few weeks the doctor told him to start using his arm and begin to lightly throw. When he started doing this he was complaining that the pain was worse than before he had the surgery. He's been back to the doctor a few times and the last time he went he had severe swelling and pain. The doctor sent him for a CTScan which has revealed and hairline fracture. Is it possible that the fracture could be from the surgery-when they removed the spurs. There was no swelling before the surgery and his pain was less severe before the surgery.

Aug 22, 2010
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Bone spur removal
by: Anonymous

More than likely the fracture was there as a direct result of the surgery because the sugery is simply a removal process where very little abrasive work is done on the elbow. The body creates bone spurs (osteophytes) to protect itself as a result of trauma or over repetitve motion. In this case it is the constant locking and collison, also known as valgus extension overload, of the humerus against the ulna and radius (forearm). So there is a possiblity that the fracture was there and the spurs were over the fracture giving it "cushion", although the MRI should have picked up the fracture or the doctor should have noticed it when he opened the elbow. Another possibilty is the surgically repaired elbow was not ready to be thrown on. Either post-surgical rehab was done incorrectly or the athlete jumped into throwing a little too hard or early. Because the osteophyte was removed the eblow's range of motion was increased to a percentage that it was not used nor ready for. This can lead to a the valgus extension to take a harder toll on the now fratcured bone. From experience in working with athletes, I am a CSCS, a few weeks of post-surgical rehab before throwing seems short. From all the experience I have the shortest rehab time I have dealt with is two months.
I hope this helped, and am sorry to hear about your bad luck.

Sep 06, 2010
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TJ
by: metsfan157

i had tommy john 13 months ago and im throwing but im having pain in my elbow is that normal?

Jan 03, 2011
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pain after 9 months
by: Anonymous

i had my surgery on april 1, 2010 and the surgery went well.started the rehab and it took awhile to get my full range of motion in the elbow but finally got it.as i keep on progressing in my throwing program i am feeling pin in the elbow right where the surgery was done.it almost feels like it did before surgery.is this normal at 9 months.any help would be greatly appriciated because its starting to worry me to death.

Apr 24, 2011
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Tommy John pain
by: Anonymous

This is a response to some of the questions I have read on this site. I recieved Tommy John during my pro career and got a degree in kinestiology.

TJ: pain that far out can be normal all depending on where it is. If it's on the surgical sight tha is a bit worrysome. But if it's above and below, that is just your arm pissed off that it's throwing again and trying to get into shape.

Pain after 9 Months: pain throughout the throwing program is completely normal. However, intense pain is not, it should feel more like an intense stretching that pain and should eventually go away as you progress through the program. Alot of the pain is scar tissue as well as nerves trying to innervate themselves again and sending "false pain" sensations. This comes because it is the first signal that the nerves learn to send and haven't matured yet.

All: remember there was a reason why we had to have Tommy John's surgery, mine was mechanics with a throwing overload as i would throw in games in relief appearances more than 3 days per week with regularity.
So as your are going through therapy think back on what cause it and fix it. With mechanics be cogniscent of them. Use this opportunity to delearn and relearn the correct things. and use this to learn how to pitch, not just throw.

Apr 25, 2011
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Detached Ligament And Bone spurs
by: Justin Levinson

I had Tommy Johns about 10yrs ago. I was planning on pitching in college but did not make a fast enough recovery. I had a detached ligament opposed to having the ligament taken from my leg. I also had some bone spurs taken out. Part of the reason why I never came back is because Ive always had throbing and aching in my arm and fingers.This happens mostly when I'm doing physical activities with it. I followed all the rules and did strength training and long toss.Now after 10yrs I'm trying to pitch in a wooden bat league. Pain is there, but I'm hoping I can work through it. It's always been on my bucket list to do this. Wish me luck!

Aug 25, 2011
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TJS after math
by: Anonymous

Like a lot of people here- my son had TJS...upon returning the following year- he had tingling sensation in ring finger and pinky- had 2nd surgery to remove scare tissue- all good until he started thowing hard...now the ulnar nerve is flying around in there- deceiding whether to have 3rd surgery to secure it. I'm told they used to leave the nerve alone and had problems- then secured it and had problems- it's a crap shoot.

Oct 04, 2011
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Please answer!
by: Anonymous

I'm 11 months out of surgery. Throughout my throwing program I developed bad habits , like babying my elbow when i wasn't supposed to. I did all my rehab right , and worked out 6 days a week for 2 hours a day for months 6 through 10. I'm now back at school and threw a 60 pitch bullpen on Monday whipping my arm a great amount and felt a little pain while throwing. This morning I woke up and my elbow was bothering me and it was really painful.Today I tried throwing a baseball and it hurt pretty bad. This is my first time I've felt pain so I'm freaking out. Does anyone have an idea what i might of done?

Oct 23, 2011
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21 yr old catcher had TJS, now has tears in shoulder
by: Anonymous

My son a D-1 college catcher, had TMJ due to a complete tear. With rehabilitation he's worked through the lingering elbow pain, but now (18 months later), he has alot of pain in his shoulder. An MRI showed small tears. UGH. how common is this?

Dec 07, 2011
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elbow pain after tj surgury NEW
by: carson

At 10 months post op i broke my throwing hand forcing me to be in a cast for 4 weeks, then 2 weeks after with no throwing. When i finally got released for activity i threw a 70 pitch bullpen, throwing mainly fastballs but also throwing splitters and curve balls. After the bullpen i noticed that it was painful to extend my arm. i have been icing and resting my arm for a week and its still sore to the touch, and painful to throw. Also my pain is in the same place as my scar from the surgery. Would you think i re-tore my UCL if not what else could it be?

Dec 31, 2011
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Post Surgery Pain NEW
by: Maddie

I am 16 and am a high school softball player. I had the Tommy John surgery in April (2011) and I am now having pain. The pain occurs after throwing and while I'm not doing anything. I am worried that I may have tore the ligament again. The pain however occurs mostly at the bone, where the ligament should have been attached. Is anyone else dealing with post surgery pain occuring while NOT throwing?

Feb 25, 2012
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TJS 3 months ago NEW
by: Ian

played one year of college baseball - had a lebrium tear, healed up, and then tore my elbow - then had tommy john. now when i wake up my elbow is so stiff that i have to go heat my arm up (hot shower) in order to move it. normal???? let me know if anyone is experiencing anything similar

Feb 26, 2015
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COLLEGE PITCHER JUST STARTING TO THROW AGAIN NEW
by: Anonymous

Had Tommy John Surgery done by one of the top surgeons in the world for the procedure which was done at MGH (performed the procedure on John Lackey who is one of his many MLB patients). He did a fantastic job, and my arm is strong.

There are some points to make known; i can definitely feel lots of soreness and stiffness in the elbow after i throw pretty hard (well whats pretty hard for someone 7 months post tommy john). I have definite soreness in the shoulder and this is normal. Stretch the cuff big time, over stretch it if you must. My Physical Therapist (who is the head of PT for the Boston Red Sox, and the Boston Bruins ) informed me that the UCL needs to be pushed so that it can regain its elasticity. The ligament is strong, and the soreness is the awakening of the muscles to the new motions, as well as the scar tissue which is built up inside the elbow.


All in all, from what I've been told, there is noting to worry about when it comes to stiffness or soreness once you begin throwing harder and harder. Thanks for your time, good luck with your bows.


PS- OVER STRETCH THE ARM

Feb 26, 2015
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College baseball player had tj twice NEW
by: Anonymous

Had tj twice in a period of 12 months. Took over 2 years to recover fully. Never got back to 90 mph.

Apr 22, 2015
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College pitcher had TJ in high school NEW
by: ZacOliver

I had TJ surgery at the end of my junior year and waited a year to throw again, I threw my whole senior season and was perfectly fine, I always pitched in the summer and Fall. last week I threw a CG, then pitched an inning over the weekend on short rest and since I've had deep pain under my scar. Usually pain for me is normal and I always throw with an uncomfortable feeling until I'm about 65 pitches into the game. I think the pain just comes with it, grab some ice and ibuprofen and just work through it.

May 20, 2015
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Same issues NEW
by: RobK

I know this is a few years late, but I am 6 months out and the same thing happened to me. I felt and heard a pop. Another MRI showed the ligament was still good, but what happened was the Ulnar nerve was attached by some scar tissue and it snapped off. That's is what I heard and felt. Problem is getting it to settle back into a groove. if that does not happen then they will have to go in and move i to a good place and get it to settle in.

Aug 07, 2015
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