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trpmb6
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Elective Tommy John's surgery and et. al.

Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:30 am

A thought experiment.

Topic: Elective surgeries and other body enhancements (we can include mechanical as well - call it cybernetics if you wish).

We have all heard (well in the US at least) how Tommy John's surgery can (though not always) improve the pitching arm of a pitcher. There are even instances of high school students electing to receive the surgery prior to college in hope of avoiding a potentially career ending injury while in ccollege.With the possibility of improving their pitching. This is of course a small minority of elitist minded kids/parents (with parents who have deep pockets).

Still, it poses some interesting questions. At what point do elective surgeries benefit an athlete too much? When do they cross into the same level as steroids and human growth hormones? At what age is it acceptable (or even beneficial)? Should we allow an infant to receive the surgery? Two years old? How would that influence their muscular or bone development later in life?

Take it further. What about gene editing. The so called designer baby. Should we allow parents to choose the height of their child so that they may have a better shot in the NBA (hat tip NBA thread from last week).

Cybernetics seem like a cut case right? Or is it... we allow athletes to wear contact lenses. Might not be that much of a stretch to allow telescoping lenses (perhaps useful in golf?)

I could go on, but I think this sets a foundation for a good discussion.
 
910A
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:11 am

Re: Elective Tommy John's surgery and et. al.

Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:52 am

Why would a self respecting surgeon perform an elective Tommy John surgery? I can't imagine one insurance would okay an elective surgery like this, and it's has to been expensive. It's not like that there is no risk in this type of surgery, some professional pitchers have had this surgery more than once.
 
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casinterest
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Re: Elective Tommy John's surgery and et. al.

Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:59 am

People pay for special vitamins, and nutrition experts. they lift weights. Is elective surgery all that bad? What if it corrects a blocked airway, or it helps with a deformed MCL/ACL?

Sometimes Elective surgeries are better than emergency surgeries, where the tear can't be predicted. In Electives, weak points can be identified.

Gene editing and other items, are a different discussion as instead of fixing what you have, you will be fixing what you don't have.
Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
 
seb146
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Re: Elective Tommy John's surgery and et. al.

Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:44 am

If someone (or their parents) can afford an elective surgery, why not? If it continues their livelihood, why not?
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Elective Tommy John's surgery and et. al.

Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

casinterest wrote:
People pay for special vitamins, and nutrition experts. they lift weights. Is elective surgery all that bad? What if it corrects a blocked airway, or it helps with a deformed MCL/ACL?

Sometimes Elective surgeries are better than emergency surgeries, where the tear can't be predicted. In Electives, weak points can be identified.

Gene editing and other items, are a different discussion as instead of fixing what you have, you will be fixing what you don't have.



I'm not saying elective surgeries in general are bad. I'm questioning, at what point do they become unethical or provide an unfair advantage. Perhaps as a society it's something we're perfectly ok with. Certainly we have accepted surgeries such as Tommy Johns as perfectly acceptable - why wouldn't we - the vast majority (99%+ probably?) are not elective and needed.

What I'm talking about is surgeries that are not necessary and only done with the intent of improving the athlete's output in some way. For instance, could studying Usain Bolt in more detail (even more detail than provided in this article: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/usain-bolt- ... t-so-fast/) produce potential body modifications that improves sprinters? Possibilities include lengthening toes, shortening the Achilles tendon moment arm among other bio-mechanic driven attributes.

In college, one of my Mechanical Engineering professor's had a keen interest in bio-mechanics. He would often end a lecture with how what he had just instructed us on could be applied to the human body. I thought it was a neat way to introduce us to the idea that you can just as easily break down the human body into engineering components in the same way you could an airplane. Of course he was more interested in the structural aspects of our bone structures, but the same line of thinking can be applied to our muscular, nervous and cardiovascular systems.

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