03/14/15 – Episode 527: Rule #1- Listen to the Patient

Listen to this podcast if you want to know why Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish is out for the season and faces a long recovery after undergoing surgery on his arm. Today’s Sports Medicine 101 segment is all about Tommy John surgery, or UCL reconstruction, which was named after and first performed on former LA Dodgers pitcher Tommy John in 1974. Tommy John’s operation didn’t go perfectly, yet miraculously, he was able to resume his fantastic pitching career. Then Dr. Craig Garrison, director of Sports Medicine at the Texas Health Ben Hogan Center, walks us through the yearlong rehabilitation process for UCL reconstruction.

Time flies as Dr. Souryal gets to as many questions as he can in just two hours. Many queries on this episode tie in to a theme: go get the right diagnosis before trying procedures or surgery. The first question of the day comes in by text about right lower back pain that won’t go away, then a caller asks about where to go for his probable “winging scapula” and subsequently, the Doc’s Newfie gets a dog groomer!

The next caller still has pain after many knee procedures and is at a loss for his next step, while similarly, a concerned husband describes his wife’s frozen shoulder and continued lower arm pain after several treatments without a clear diagnosis. Other callers include a weightlifter with an AC joint injury, a 55 year old with pain in both shoulders that may be neurological, and a 38 year old man with knee pain who is advised to ask about other options before rushing into surgery. At the end of the show, a future kinesiologist and former baseball player has some shoulder pain, but only on occasion. What to do? You guessed it: go get a diagnosis!