Pittsburgh Pirates starter recovering after Tommy John surgery

June 19, 2012

Topic: best orthopaedic surgeons

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Charlie Morton, a right-handed starter for the Pittsburgh Pirates, is out for the rest of the 2012 season, as reported by The Associated Press (AP). He is recovering from Tommy John surgery, which was performed by Dr. James Andrews, one of the best orthopaedic surgeons known in sports medicine.

Tommy John surgery repairs the medial collateral ligament, a band of tissue on the side of the elbow that is closest to the body. This ligament connects the upper arm bone to the larger bone of the forearm, according to eOrthopod. Overuse and repetitive stress, such as the throwing motion of the pitcher, may damage the ligament.

The goal of Tommy John surgery is to stabilize the elbow. Doctors replace the injured structure with healthy tendon tissue that is harvested from a patient's forearm, knee, foot or hamstring.

A recent indication that Morton was having problems was his placement on the 15-day disabled list for right elbow inflammation, starting on June 1. He subsequently underwent surgery, and ended the current season with a 2-6 record and 4.65 ERA, according to the AP.

The recovery process may take 12 to 18 months.

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