Post Ligament-Transplant-Surgery-Therapy Can Be Improved with the ArmTutor

Kris Medlen

Image via Wikipedia

Carroll Rogers reports that under the guise of working back from elbow surgery with an eye toward next season, Kris Medlen has actually been building up his arm strength to make a comeback attempt for the playoffs.

Medlen is scheduled to throw live batting practice Saturday for the first time in his 13-month recovery. If he can get back into game action before the regular season ends Sept. 28, the Braves will consider adding Medlen to their bullpen for the postseason.

“We are progressing him with no expectations other than if he pitches at the end of the season, we will then consider how he fits,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said.

Medlen suffered some scar tissue breakup in June, a common setback in recovery from ligament transplant surgery. But soreness lingered when he got back on the bullpen mound, so he was shut down for five weeks starting in mid-July. Medlen got a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow. He said that and the rest helped.

Medlen threw his fifth bullpen in the past 11 days on Wednesday without discomfort.

“There’s no pain, and that’s the most important part,” Medlen said. “It’s just a matter of me getting my stuff back and getting the feel of everything. That would be the most important part for me to come back and help at all. I’m going to have to speed it up a little bit.”

Medlen, who underwent “Tommy John” surgery on Aug. 18, 2010, was originally targeting a return to the mound in late August. After two setbacks and some indications he wouldn’t return this season, he is just happy for the chance.

“I’m super excited,” Medlen said. “Frank sat right next to me, face-to-face and told me the plan, and I was just like ‘(Heck) yeah. Let’s do this.’ It’s been long enough.”

The Braves can use more depth in their bullpen and help against left-handers. Left-handed specialist George Sherrill is still nursing a sore left elbow and not scheduled to throw off a mound until Friday. Left-handers are hitting.310 (22-for-71) against Scott Linebrink for the season and 4-for-7 so far against Peter Moylan.

For his career, Medlen has held left-handers to a .240 average, and right-handers to .282. In 2009, when Medlen pitched primarily in a relief role, left-handers hit only .183 off him.

“After the shot and the five weeks off that I had, there’s no doubt my ligament is strong and I’m not holding back at all,” Medlen said. “I’m not saying I’m going to come in throwing 92, but let it go, and I’m not afraid of it popping it again or anything. It’s completely different than it was a month and a half ago.”

The ArmTutor™ system has been developed to allow for functional rehabilitation after arm and elbow surgery and for the whole upper extremity. The system consists of an ergonomic wearable arm brace and dedicated rehabilitation software. The ArmTutor™ system allows for a range of biomechanical evaluation including speed, passive and active range of motion and motion analysis of the upper extremity. Quantitative biomechanical data allow for objective evaluation and rehabilitation treatment follow up. The ArmTutor™ rehabilitation concept is based on performing controlled exercise rehabilitation practice at a patient customized level with real time accurate feedback on the patient’s performance. The exercises are designed in the form of challenging games that are suitable for a wide variety of neurological and orthopedic injury and disease. The games challenge the patient to perform the exercise task to their best ability and to continue exercise practice.

The ArmTutor™ allows for isolated and a combination of elbow and three directional shoulder treatment. The system provides detailed exercise performance instructions and precise feedback on the patients exercise performance. Controlled exercise of multijoints within the normal movement pattern prevents the development of undesired and compensatory joint movement and ensures better performance of functional tasks.

The ArmTutor™ system is used by many leading rehabilitation centers and hospitals across the U.S. and in foreign countries.

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