Ryan Zimmerman, Cortisone, And What's Next

DC Sports Nexus ---- Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"Give everyone cortisone shots!" or "Thank you cortisone!" became popular sayings amongst Nationals fans following Ryan Zimmerman's highly public injection to deal with a nagging shoulder injury.  Well it's been a few weeks since he received the injection, so it's safe to start asking questions about it.

Zim started off the year in a pretty terrible slump, took a cortisone shot, and magically starter to tear it up at the plate.  Don't believe it?  Check out the numbers after the jump...

Pre-Cortisone Numbers (55 games before June 24):

Post-Cortisone Numbers (18 games on or after June 24):

Admittedly, 18 games is a bit small for a good sample size, but it is hard to argue with those numbers.  June 24th Zimmerman got his Cortisone shot and afterwards all of his numbers immediately improved and have stayed up.

So what is cortisone and why isn't everyone using it?

Well cortisone is actually a type of "corticosteriod" that is naturally produced by the body to reduce inflammation.  It's understandable that baseball decides to drop the steroid part of the name and just refer to the substance as cortisone.(WebMD)

Basically, when injected into a problem area of soft tissue or joint pain, cortisone drastically reduces the inflammation which gives a better range of motion and reduces the pain experienced.  The injection IS NOT a cure, but can provide months or even years of relief.(WebMD)

Cortisone was first injected as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in 1949.  It has since become widely used among athletes and is not considered a banned substance by MLB.

The bad news is that it is almost a given that with Cortisone treatment some degree of tearing will occur in the treated region.  That means Ryan Zimmerman will eventually need some form of off season surgery to deal with his shoulder and the additional damage the injections cause.(Nicholas)

However, if Zimmerman keeps producing like he has been of late, it's hard to argue against those results. 


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