October 05, 2017
1 min read

Elbow injuries in professional baseball players are most common among pitchers

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Among professional players in Major and Minor League Baseball, results showed elbow injuries were most common among pitchers.

Michael G. Ciccotti

Michael G. Ciccotti, MD, and colleagues collected data on 3,185 elbow injuries from Major League Baseball’s Health Injury and Tracking System that occurred during the 2011 to 2014 seasons. Researchers evaluated overall injury rate, years as a professional player, mechanism of injury, treatment, average time lost and return to play for each type of elbow injury.

Results showed surgical treatment was required for 20% of the injuries. Researchers noted elbow injuries were most likely to occur among pitchers. Pitchers were also most likely to require surgery and had the greatest mean number of days missed when treated nonsurgically.

Researchers found 42.1% of all elbow injuries were medial injuries, and 57.2% of all elbow surgeries performed during the study period involved ligaments.

“This study represents the only investigation to date using a comprehensive injury surveillance system to examine elbow injuries in professional baseball players,” Ciccotti told Healio.com/Orthopedics. “It provides a basis for injury prevention and treatment recommendations, establishes the most thorough framework for determining elbow injury risk and focuses continued research on elbow injury prevention in the baseball player. This study can thereby aid sports medicine specialists caring for the overhead throwing athlete.” – by Casey Tingle


Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.