Why Walker Buehler Had Left Wrist Wrapped After Tommy John Surgery

The Los Angeles Dodgers received unfortunate — although not fully surprising — news this week when Walker Buehler required season-ending Tommy John surgery in addition to repairing his right flexor tendon. Buehler is unlikely to return during the 2023 season, but the Dodgers have not officially ruled out the possibility.

In the days after the operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, McKenzie Buehler posted a photo of her husband as an Instagram story. Buehler appeared to be asleep with not only his right arm bandaged up but left wrist as well.

Due to receiving several inquiries, McKenzie provided clarity and explained the left palmaris longus (PL) was removed and utilized as part of Buehler’s right elbow surgery. McKenzie added the right palmaris was previously used for Buehler’s first Tommy John surgery shortly after the Dodgers selected him with the 24th overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft.

Although Buehler now has had a second Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers are optimistic of a full return to the mound. Much of that stems from having the utmost confidence in Dr. ElAttrache.

“The data on those guys is actually really good,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said of pitchers who twice have had Tommy John surgeries.

“Looking at that, a surgeon matters. And we feel really good with our guys being in Dr. ElAttrache’s hands. He’s as good as it gets. I think the issues that have come from second-time Tommy John, is more technique related and stuff that Dr. ElAttrache is all over. Again, feel very fortunate we have our guys in his hands.”

Why did Walker Buehler need second Tommy John surgery?

At the time of announcing Buehler required elbow surgery, the Dodgers did not offer specifics of the operation. Manager Dave Roberts said clarity on the procedure would not come until Dr. ElAttrache began the process.

Tommy John wound up being decided on as the best course of action after Buehler experienced continued discomfort while trying to complete a throwing program during his rehab process.

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