The Role of Thermal Surgery in the Throwing Athlete

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Throwing athletes often develop pain in their dominant shoulders. A careful history and examination will often disclose anterior capsular laxity and a posterior capsular contracture. The thermal probe, which was developed and used to produce tissue shrinkage, has been used extensively on the glenohumeral joint capsule. Several laboratory and clinical studies support its effectiveness in the short term. More specifically, thermal energy has had good results in throwing athletes with a high rate of return to the previous level of competition. Close postoperative monitoring and a structured rehabilitation program are essential to a good outcome. Complications related to the use of thermal energy have reported and are, in part, technique related. Thermal energy can be an effective adjunctive tool for the treatment of the throwing athlete.

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