Height, pitching velocity of adolescent baseball pitchers likely indicative of shoulder and elbow injuries
LAS VEGAS — Adolescent baseball pitchers who are taller, throw harder and pitch for multiple teams are more likely to have a history of shoulder and elbow injuries than their peers, according to research presented here.
“Pitching for more than one team, height and velocity correctly predicts 77% of injury histories,” Peter N. Chalmers, MD, said in a presentation at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting. “Velocity is the number one predictor,” he said.
Chalmers and colleagues reviewed high-speed video data for 420 adolescent baseball pitchers, as well as data related to pitching and self-reported injury history. They also evaluated demographic information and kinematic data for the athletes studied. The investigators used a multivariate logistic regression analysis to determine which pitching factors were linked to an injury of the shoulder or elbow.
In all, 31% of the athletes reported a pitching-related shoulder or elbow injury in results of the study, which showed with a 10-inch increase in the pitcher’s height, a 10 mile-per-hour increase in pitch velocity and a pitcher who played for more than one team, the likelihood of injury increased 20%, 12% and 22%, respectively.
The regression analysis Chalmers and colleagues did showed the factors that significantly indicated an injury were height of the pitcher, the velocity at which they threw, and whether they played for more than one team.
“As a corollary, pitch counts can only be considered as a risk factor for injury in concert with velocity,” Chalmers said. – by Christian Ingram
Chalmers PN, et al. Paper #78. Presented at: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting; March 24-28, 2015; Las Vegas.
Disclosure: Chalmers reports no relevant financial disclosures.