Charlie Denomme knows what it feels like to hear the suggestion, “Tommy John surgery,” in a meeting with a doctor. The right-handed pitcher underwent that procedure following his sophomore year at Wellesley High (Mass.) in August of 2020.
Now a Thayer Academy ‘23, Denomme has made a full rehab and recently earned a commitment to the University of Michigan. With the hard work of rehab behind him, Denomme admits that the initial diagnosis forced him to sink into the abyss, thinking his career might never be the same.
On the contrary, Tommy John surgery, or ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction, has become a procedure that allows pitchers to return to their previous form – if not better. For that reason, more and more players are agreeing to have the surgery.
According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, TJ surgeries for teenagers between 15- to 19-years-old is up just over 9 percent. The 15-to-19-year-old male segment of the population makes up 56.7 percent of all Tommy John surgeries.