I am a PT, ATC working with a high school baseball player who is 7 1/2 months post-op UCL repair. I am having a problem with communication with his surgeon. I have recommended beginning the interval throwing program and finally heard back from him several weeks later via fax to begin with a tennis ball. I am assuming using a tennis ball would significantly increase angular velocity and therefore stress on the UCL. Is anyone aware of any training methods with a tennis ball for a normal throwing program? I am still awaiting a call back from his office. Thanks in advance Eric
Post by Len Macrina MSPT, SCS, CSCS on Mar 13, 2008 20:05:46 GMT -6
we sometimes use tennis balls into a trampoline or just holding a towel and utilizing the throwing motion as a simulation only. This usually occurs just before the athlete begins the formal throwing program actually using a baseball. Did the doc actually repair the UCL as your posting states or repair/reconstruct using a tendon? That may also drastically alter the athlete's rehab. Repair only has a poorer outcome than repair/reconstruction with a tendinous autograft...keep that in mind, too.
Thanks for your reply Len. I miswrote. He used the palmaris longus to reconstruct, not repair. The doc actually wanted him to play catch with a ball, but had no structure or protocol. I contacted him finally and they essentially left it up to me to determine when to begin using a regular ball. So I began the routine throwing program and so far, so good.
After he has went through the whole program, is that a sign he may be ready to return to position play in your opinion, assuming pain, rom and strength are WNL? Thanks again.