For those that only keep up with us on the blog... We are in Cincinnati. Derrik flew in last night, and I made the fifteen hour drive (thanks to probably 6+ hours on the phone with my great friend Natalie!) over the course of Monday and Tuesday. Ryder is back home with my parents until Sunday when i'll drive back to be with him, and Derrik flies back to Pheonix.
We FINALLY got to meet with Dr. Kremchek (the Cincinnati Reds doctor) this morning. It felt so good to finally be able to sit and talk with him face to face about what is going on. When we first met with him it was just the three of us in the room. He showed us the MRI, felt Derrik's arm, and basically told us he felt as if there could be something wrong or it could be fine. He said MRIs are so hard to read after a surgery has already been done, and had us conviced there was pretty much a 50/50 shot he would need the Tommy John surgery a second time around. He had agreed that with the level Derrik is at in his baseball career that he felt it was necessary to at least open his arm up and check the situation out. At this point I asked what his opinion was on the bone spur. We looked at the x-rays and MRI and said he wanted his tech to look at them. She came back in before Doc got into the room and asked for a quick rundown of Derrik's history and what we were there for. She quickly said, "I don't like to put percentages on things, but it is definitely more then 80% torn". The doctor and tech in Arizona felt his UCL was about 80% re-torn and now this lady is saying she thinks it is too. Kremchek came back in and basically told us that he's pissed at the situation, he's pissed for us, he's pissed that he knows he's the best at this surgery and hates when one fails, and that he's pissed he doesn't know WHY it happened so he could change things up to make it successful the second time around. He told us that he has done well over a thousand of these surgery the first time around and only redone two when the first surgery was done by him. Both of those guys were a success (which he considers getting back to the level they were playing at before the first surgery). This made me feel much better when we were told the success rate for second round Tommy John went down to 30% from 95% the first go around. That 30% includes guys who don't even attempt to play baseball after the surgery, and Kremchek's success rate sounds pretty good to me.
Derrik is scheduled for surgery around 10:00-10:30 on Friday morning. How he put it to his assistant was "he's doing the whole kitchen sink". Basically he's opening his arm up and making the best decision when he sees what is going on. What we all think is going to happen is they will re-do the Tommy John and leave the bone spur alone. The doctor and the tech think the bone spur was nothing. They will take the ligament from his left wrist this time and do PRP (Platlete Rich Plasma). The PRP is when they spin Derrik's blood to get just the platletes. They will then put it on the surgery site which will help promote better healing. I wish I could explain it better but it was a little confusing. It's something relatively new they are doing with the Tommy John surgery, and Kremchek feels he needs to try everything he can to get Derrik's arm back to where it needs to be. Of course with this being the second go around they are going to take every precaution necessary after the surgery. This means a much longer rehab, throwing at six months instead of four, no golf at all, being in a brace longer.... sounds fun huh?!
For now i'm getting some work done, we're going to enjoy a surgery-free and baby-free evening together. We are hoping to get a tour of the Reds ball park tomorrow, and Derrik's dad and grandparents will be here tomorrow night. Friday is surgery and we'll have a lot more answers then!
Thank you so much to everyone for all your e-mails, text, phone calls, and encouragemen. We'll make it through this and be just fine. I think i'm being so positive because my husband is sitting next to me as I type :)