Should I be worried about tommy john

I’m 15 years old and during the beginning of the fall season after I rested my arm for a month after the summer season ended I came into a scrimmage and my arm was just hurting a bit when I was warming up. No random pops. A week or two before hand during the tryout my arm was fine. But when I went to pitch my arm began to hurt on the inner region of my elbow. I had pain in my forearm and elbow afterwards. I iced it, starting heating 5 days later and did what I could. After 3 weeks of rest I tried to throw and still hurt in the inner region but the forearm pain went away.

MY suggestion would be to shut down all together until you can resolve this issue. I’m sure other’s will chime in with smilar suggestions.

Pitching in fall ball for youngsters of high school and even college play is something that I could never understand. As prolific as fall ball may be, pitchers need that time span over the offseason to relax and recoup. On the other hand, I want to qualify this my stating that regardless of how many innings and how often one pitches, individual tolerances and physical makeup should dictate any offseason play.

Summer competition especially concerns me for those leaving the college season and jumping right into summer ball. Collegiate summer leagues can sometimes push a college player beyond the watchful eye of an institution’s medical and coach staff. Overall, from my perspective, summer collegiate leagues are a roll of the dice - health wise for college age pitchers.

Ok thank you I will try and rest and go to a doctor to see what happened just hoping it’s not the worst

When you started to notice, initially, this discomfort that turned into pain, did any of your coaches ask or inquire how you felt? Did you mention to any of your coaches how you felt initially and as you progressed during your pitching experience?
Has or have any of your coaches suggest resolving this issue that you’re experiencing?

I told them right away and at first they told me to take rest. I did that but also iced it, put cream on it, took fish oil because I thought it was tendinitis, and after 4 days I heat it. My pitching coach told me to try some exercises for my forearm because at the starts my forearm was inflamed and hurt if I tried to close my hand. Later try and start to throw lightly and progressively further as time grew on. I just tried to yesterday and when I added velocity it began to hurt again.

I could go into a lengthy narration of various thoughts regarding your experience, your pitching coach and such, but without knowing more, I’m not.
So, regardless of who says what, shut down and seek professional medical advice on your condition. And just a thought for the future, you’re not in the company of experienced professionals who train, coach, and manage pitchers. So you have to be somewhat instep with what’s best for you and why.
Once you have a professional medical examination - take heed from that point on to take charge of your own well being on the field. I say this because pitching is a demanding test of the human body to continually do the same thing, over and over again. That body of yours requires more than just “advice” from high school coaches. You require guidance from your medical professional on your problem, HOW NOT to get into this situation again, and most important, don’t be hard on yourself that if you don’t do what your asked to do pitching wise - not training wise per your past and existing medical issues, you’ll be cut from your club or sit on the bench most of the season.
I know this is a lot to ask of a 15 year old. In that regard, there are those on this web site that can offer advice, solid advice on ways to go about this, that work in your favor.
My compliments to you Ramon for knowing enough to ask questions and seek out suggestions. Very gutsy thing to do.

Ok thanks a lot coach baker I’ll listen to your word

Major League Baseball and its Advisory Committee of medical experts recommends that 15 year old pitchers “Take at least 4 months off from competitive pitching every year, including at least 2-3 continuous months off from all overhead throwing.” From your post, it doesn’t sound like you are giving your arm enough rest.

That said, inner elbow pain in a 15 year old pitcher is not a good sign. Your growth plate is likely closed so any pain likely originates in the UCL, or perhaps in a pronator muscle. UCL injuries are not easy to diagnose, however, and are often misdiagnosed. So please see an orthopedic surgeon trained in sports medicine, preferably one with experience in pitcher arm injuries.

Honestly the media frenzy is out of control. If you take care of your arm and are not lazy you will be fine. My son just turned 13 and we have followed the Dominican pitching theory since 7u and he has had no problems. He has played LL, Pony, Travel and occasionally fills in with a good Cal Ripken team. I allow him to pitch for all 3-4 teams during the week but only once back to back during the week. I hold his pitch count to 85 for each outing during the week and no more than a total of 140 pitches on the weekend, with a strict 350 pitch count for the week. If he reaches 140 for the weekend, he is only allowed to pitch in a closer role on Monday Rec team due to a light pitching lesson at 4pm. I would never pitch him for two teams in one day as that’s flat out stupid. He will never catch during the week and will catch no more than two games on the weekend. We live with Ice and armbands. Essentially I feel if the arm is reved up it stays loose. Hope this helps?

That’s not strict. That’s insane. Mature, fully developed MLB pitchers don’t throw 350 pitches a week.

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That’s crazy, 350 is more than any mlb pitcher comes close to, a starter with 2 in a week at most will throw 220-230 range.

350 pitches a week playing on 4 teams as a posistion too and catching 2 games a weekend is insane. He throws well over 2,000 throws a week which is insane. Your lucky your son hasn’t had every surgery in the books by now.


Got to say I agree with Southpaw on this one. How the heck did you come up with 350 pitches per week?

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Tommy John is a harmless old man, but if you are throwing stuff (especially with poor mechanics) you should be concerned about the ulnar collateral ligament (i.e., Tommy John ligament). A little baseball humor for mother on Mother’s Day.

His son is 13, which is a bit young, though I do know a 13-year-old pitcher who had Tommy John surgery. Dr. James Andrews - the top TJ surgeon in America - says that torn UCLs almost never are caused by an isolated incident, but rather develop slowly over time starting with overuse in youth baseball. Andrews likens the UCL to a rubber band. If the rubber band is stretched moderately, it pulls back into place and nothing happens. But if the rubber band is overstretched, tiny tears appear in the rubber. However, like the UCL, a rubber band does not heal its tears. As the rubber band is overstretched again and again over time, more and more tiny tears appear, weakening the rubber band. Finally, the rubber band is so weakened that a single overstretch causes it to rupture. Same with the UCL. There is a great video interview of Andrews at MLB.Com that is very informative.

Yes and no. If you follow traditionally based instruction and practice, Yes. If you take advantage of the latest “state of the science” on mechanics, No.

The MCL (UCL) at the medial elbow like all ligaments are finite length materials that do not stretch and they have no pain receptors! This is why when pitchers whom have ruptured their UCL’s or commited daily micro fraying that accumultes and then finally gives way to graded tears always think they can go back out the next day and pitch. Any pain eminating from this area comes from the flexor tendons overlying this joint area that are sometimes stretched past their normal tolerance.
Tommy John not only ruptured his UCL, he also evulced (removed) the tendons off the bone in the Humerus that they attached to and had a pile of muscle balled up in his forearm.


This is your chronological age and does not help in identifying your Biological age that is what any questions should be based on. Are you a delayed, advanced or an equated maturer?

This is an early indicator by way of low impact use that your mechanics are off!

You may have injured it slightly then because you layed off and atrophied your muscles. All pitchers in all age groups suffer from being un fit and mechanically disruptive.

This means you forearm supinate your pitch types so that when you drive the ball the extensors on the lateral side (outside) of your elbow are contracting forewards ball movement that have your Flexors decelorate your ballistic wrist eccentrically and stretches the heck out of them.

This can be mitigated by throwing only forearm pronated versions of pitch types.
When you switch over to forearm pronated versions this will have you arrive (Humeral/forearm transition) by supinating on the way back and then driving the ball with pronation. This has you contract the flexors to drive the ball, intern this action helps protect the UCL by butressing the tention from those tendons that overlay the UCL.

When you learn forearm pronation drive (thumb down elbow up) all this pain immediately goes away.