Can play, can’t play, technology improves and now can play.

I woke up this morning with some great news about a client of mine who is a professional athlete (he gave me permission to share). He has been called up to the Major Leagues! This in itself is quite a feat, but his circumstances make it even more extraordinary as he is pitching with a surgically repaired labrum. The labrum forms a ring around the edge of bony socket of the hip joint and provides stability to the joint by deepening the socket. It also, unlike bone, allows for flexibility and motion. A pitcher heavily uses and depends on this area. There were added complications when an infection set in and he had to have yet another surgery to take care of this. When all was said and done, he was out of baseball for two full years and the two years prior to surgery, he was pitching in pain. Today, he is pain-free and pitching better than ever.

I’ve included a few of his statistics below. They speak for themselves and I know all of you baseball aficionados out there will see why.

From April 22- May 18

1. Earned run average of .78. This means that he has given up less than one run per nine innings of pitching and that he only had one game where he gave up any runs. His earned run average could have been 0. That is amazing.

2. He has faced 30 left-handed batters and has struck out 22 of them!

3. He struck out 42 batters in 23 innings which equates to almost two batters per inning.

4. Has only walked five batters in 23.1 innings (this is my favorite statistic).

The technology in sports just does not stop. There was a time when having Tommy John surgery was an end to one’s career. Tommy John surgery is also known as ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction and is a surgical graft procedure in which the UCL in the elbow is replaced with a tendon from elsewhere in the body. But now, it is a surgery that repairs and leaves the player stronger than he was prior to the injury. I imagine that down the road we’ll see players playing with artificial hips and repaired labrums, arms and aneurisms. The momentum for improvement is not slowing – I saw great technological advances while I was playing and there is still continuous progress being made.

This is a feel good story and I am feeling really good today.

Thoughts or questions are welcome.

Dave Bergman