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2020.10.7

While the increasing number of pitchers who require Tommy John surgery is troubling — because anything that requires people to undergo surgery entails some risk, and the recover rate for Tommy John surgery isn't 100% — it isn't that big of a deal.

In the worst case, problematic movements like the Tommy John Twist can mean retired pitchers have trouble combing their hair or brushing their teeth with their pitching arm or their shoulder aches when it's going to rain when their playing days are over.

The far more troubling part of the epidemic is the hockey-sticking increase in the incidence of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and other causes of blood clots in baseball pitchers.

Blood clots which can lead to disability or even death.

PICNS

For those of you who think I'm crazy, do some research into the history and experience of J.R. Richard who pitched for the Astros in the 1970s and early 1980s and who was forced to retire due to a stroke.

That was caused by Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).

While TOS is my main concern, I believe there is a meta-syndrome involved that I call Pitching-Induced Coagulation and Neuropathy Syndrome (PICNS) and whose incidence seems to be hockey-sticking upwards.

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