May 14, 2020
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No effect on career advancement found in baseball players with histories of ACL reconstruction

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No difference was found between the career paths of potential Major League Baseball draftees with a history of ACL reconstruction and their healthy peers, according to results of a published study.

Researchers at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California, set out to investigate the highest level of professional advancement among baseball players with ACL reconstruction (ACLR). Their goal was to evaluate relevant time spent on the disabled list (DL) and to compare the batting and pitching performances of these players against a healthy control group.

Researchers obtained the pre-draft medical records of all MLB-drafted players from 2004 to 2008, found those with histories of ACLR and gathered data through the 2015 season.

The study found no statistically significant difference between the 40 male draftees (22 pitchers, 18 position players) and 120 controls (66 pitchers, 54 position players) in terms of level of professional advancement.

Results showed 25% of MLB players with a history of ACL injury went on the disabled list for an injury to the knee vs. 6.7% of MLB players without a history of ACL injury.
Results showed 25% of MLB players with a history of ACL injury went on the disabled list for an injury to the knee vs. 6.7% of MLB players without a history of ACL injury.

“The mean total number of times and the mean total number of days on the DL were similar between the groups (1.83 vs. 1.47, P = .297; 121.54 vs. 109.62, P = .955); however, the mean number of times on the DL because of a knee injury was significantly different (0.28 vs. 0.11, P = .004), as was the mean number of days on the DL because of a knee injury (17.36 vs. 7.72, P = .009),” the researchers wrote in their study. “Among pitchers, there were no differences in performance. Similarly, there were no differences among position players in batting performance.”

Overall, the researchers found no significant data to suggest that baseball players with a history of ACLR are restricted in terms of advancement from the minor to the major leagues. While the ACLR group’s time on the DL was mostly due to knee injury, researchers noted the control group spent an equivalent amount of time on the DL. – by Max R. Wursta

 

Disclosures: Porter reports he receives education payments from Smith & Nephew, DJO and Arthrex; and hospitality payments from Arthrex, Encore Medical and Integra Lifesciences Corp. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.