There's an Epidemic of Tommy John Surgeries

Some major league pitchers who undergo "Tommy John" surgery come back throwing harder than they did before. But experts warn too many little leaguers are getting that surgery now.

Nearly 60% of Tommy John surgeries are for those 15 to 19. Dr. James Muntz is an Astros team physician.

"You'd like to delay it as long as you can; I mean, I think people are very aware now of pitch counts and holding these kids back -- you'd hate to do any of this stuff early."

Dr. Muntz says it's not the surgery, it's the rehab.

"It's not that it's not safe but you just hate to have these guys go through it; the surgery's not a big deal, the rehab for professional baseball players -- they're out for a year, a year and a half."

Dr. Muntz says he hopes no parents are encouraging the surgery to make the kid's arm stronger.

"Yeah I would never go with that; it's hard to better than you were naturally. That would be an unreal expectation from the parents or the child."

Dr. Muntz says he hasn't seen many of these surgeries performed on kids.

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