Baseball pitcher Tyson Ross recently signed to a Minor League contract with the San Diego Padres. In the past, Ross pitched for the Padres from 2013-2016. Now thirty years old, Ross has dealt with injuries throughout his career, and this contributed to the end of his original tenure with the team.
In 2017, he had trouble with blisters and had to miss a lot of game time because is surgery to treat his Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). In this condition, veins, nerves, or arteries are compressed in the passage from the armpit to the lower neck. Symptoms include, weakness, pain, and loss of muscle at the base of the thumb. There are a variety of potential causes, including tumors, anatomical variations, trauma, and repetitive arm motion. To learn more about this syndrome, click here.
The repetitive motion risk factor means that baseball pitchers seem to be more likely to experience this condition than the regular population, with the syndrome affecting only about one percent of the population. However, Ross is one of several notable professional baseball pitchers who have dealt with thoracic outlet syndrome. Chris Young, another pitcher who is signing a contract with the Padres at the as well, had to have surgery in 2013 to treat his own TOS. Surgical treatment is an effective solution for the condition, and is often the most timely treatment option for patients who need to restore full arm and shoulder function as soon as possible. However, physical therapy is generally a part of treatment before and after the procedure. The process can mean the end of a season for a professional pitcher.
As is clear in both Ross and Young’s cases, as successful surgery means full recovery and use of the affected arm, and most players are able to return to pitching after surgery.