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Articles Tagged Dr. James Andrews 

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Tim Hudson has a new scar, a slightly different anatomy, and almost exactly the same numbers he had before his surgery.

In late July of 2008, a few days after Tim Hudson walked off a mound in Miami with elbow discomfort after holding the Marlins scoreless for six innings, doctors discovered that his ulnar collateral ligament had two tears—one partial, one complete. On August 8, Hudson had Tommy John surgery. On that day, in Pensacola, Florida, Dr. James Andrews opened up Hudson's elbow, removed his ulnar collateral ligament, and transplanted a tendon from another part of his body that was also opened up. There were drills and staples and sutures. There was general anesthesia and blood and that groggy feeling you get in the recovery room. Then there were months and months of healing and rehab and re-learning how to throw. 

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Our resident medhead looks at the top 10 baseball orthopedists.

It's hard to say "ignore the rankings" when I'm about to give you a Top-10 list, but I'm telling you—ignore the rankings. From 1-10, these are some of the top orthopedic surgeons in the world. The rankings were based on a short survey I gave to several players and front-office types, but barely have any meaning. If anything, think of this as the program to the next time an athlete goes on a tour to find a doctor he likes. They say you can't tell the players without a program, but for years we've been asked to just accept that our favorite players and teams are relying on doctors. While I could write a book on this topic, a few hundred words on each is more than most know about any of them. So, tip your cap to the medical heroes, the super surgeons that have to put our athletic Humpty Dumpties together again:

Dr. James Andrews
Practice: Andrews Sports Medicine (Birmingham, Alabama); The Andrews Institute (Pensacola, Florida)
Team: Rays
School: LSU School of Medicine
Speciality: Elbow, shoulder, knee
Signature Surgeries: Roger Clemens (shoulder, 1985); John Smoltz (elbow, 2000)
Why He's No. 1: In baseball, Andrews is perhaps known best for things he really didn't found. Many think he invented Tommy John surgery. (That was Dr. Frank Jobe, of course.) Many think he was the first consulting surgeon. Instead, Andrews should be known for being the athlete's choice. There's a confidence that athletes seem to get when dealing with Andrews. Perhaps it's that he's known as the best, but if you get the chance to speak with him, his deep Louisiana drawl goes from being "Wow, I didn't expect that" to comforting when paired with his matchless confidence. Birmingham became synonymous with injuries, but while going to Birmingham was bad, there was always a tag on it, that a player fully expected to come back healed. An article a few years ago tabbed Andrews as "the most valuable man in sports." No one's going to argue with Andrews being at the top of the list and moreover, his American Sports Medicine Institute Fellows program helped put a couple more on the list below. His influence is going to last far beyond the careers of the men he did surgery on.







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January 23, 2004 12:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Dr. Glenn Fleisig, Part I

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Jonah Keri

Dr. Glenn Fleisig is the Smith and Nephew Chair of Research at the American Sports Medicine Institute, an organization founded by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews dedicated to improving the understanding, prevention, and treatment of sports-related injuries through research and education. Fleisig has worked closely with players and coaches at all levels, from youth leagues to the big leagues, teaching performance optimization and injury prevention methods. With the 22nd annual "Injuries in Baseball" course starting Jan. 29 in Orlando, Fleisig chatted with BP about the growth of ASMI, warning signs for pitching injuries, and the challenge of generating awareness among major league teams.

Baseball Prospectus: What first attracted you to working at ASMI and studying biomechanics in general?

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May 30, 2003 12:00 am

Under The Knife: A Visit with Dr. Tim Kremchek

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Will Carroll

There is no other hospital I have ever seen that includes its Astroturf infield in the tour. Hidden away just off the Interstate in northern Cincinnati, I was invited to go into, what for me was essentially the mouth of the beast. Swerving through the new construction of a suburban office park, almost anonymous from the outside, Beacon Orthopaedic Clinic beckoned me to come inside, to let my guard down, and to face the man I'd criticized in print more than any other. It was the equivalent of Rush Limbaugh being invited into the Clinton White House. It was Doug Pappas being invited to a Selig family picnic. In my years as an injury analyst, there was no name that had come up more than Ken Griffey Jr.. When speaking of Griffey, there was no way to avoid involving Dr. Tim Kremchek in the discussion. Like many, my opinion of Kremchek had descended from joking derision. My views were colored by incidents which, from the outside, supported my views. More recently though, Reds Assistant General Manager Brad Kullman convinced me to keep an open mind, that I might be wrong about Kremchek. I decided to try and find out for myself.

In my years as an injury analyst, there was no name that had come up more than Ken Griffey Jr.. When speaking of Griffey, there was no way to avoid involving Dr. Tim Kremchek in the discussion. Like many, my opinion of Kremchek had descended from joking derision. My views were colored by incidents which, from the outside, supported my views. More recently though, Reds Assistant General Manager Brad Kullman convinced me to keep an open mind, that I might be wrong about Kremchek. I decided to try and find out for myself.

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Between a careful analysis of what data is available, the creative use of proxy variables in estimating injuries throughout time, and the application of some principles of sports medicine, we are at least in a position to make some educated guesses about the nature of pitcher injuries. Our particular focus in this article will be the progression of pitcher injury rates by age.

Pitching is an unnatural act that invites injury. The stress it places on the bones of the shoulder, arm, and back is immense. The strain it places on the 36 muscles that attach to the humerus, clavicle, and scapula is remarkable. It is widely accepted by sports medicine practitioners that every pitch causes at least some amount of damage to the system.

It seems fair to say that the study of pitcher injuries is an important part of sabermetric analysis. The statistical evidence available to test theories about pitcher injuries, however, is often missing. While there are databases that contain every recorded statistic from the days of Al Spalding and beyond, and others that document every play of every game in the past 30 years, a comprehensive database of player injury history simply doesn't exist.

However, between a careful analysis of what data is available, the creative use of proxy variables in estimating injuries throughout time, and the application of some principles of sports medicine, we are at least in a position to make some educated guesses about the nature of pitcher injuries. Our particular focus in this article will be the progression of pitcher injury rates by age.

Methodology and Statistical Results

To create an actuarial backbone for our study, we applied the same approach that is used to calculate attrition rate in the PECOTA forecasts. Attrition rate describes the percentage of pitchers who experience a decline in their innings pitched of at least 50 percent. Such a dramatic decline will not always indicate that a serious injury has occurred--it can also reflect demotion, retirement, and so on. However, by placing a few restrictions on our dataset, we can serve to limit these cases, and use attrition rate as a reasonable proxy for catastrophic injury.

In order to be included in the study, a pitcher needed to have pitched at least 150 innings in the previous season, with a park-adjusted ERA no more than 10 percent worse than his league average. That is, our study was focused on pitchers who had already pitched at least one effective season in the major leagues, and who were likely to have every opportunity to do so again in the absence of significant injury. All pitchers from 1946-2002 were considered, with innings pitched totals prorated over a 162-game schedule. The chart below tracks attrition rate at different ages throughout a pitcher's career.

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