Mount Sinai study examines common shoulder injuries among college baseball players


Bottom Line: Baseball players are very susceptible to shoulder injuries due to severe strain injuries, including repetitive overhead throws. Mount Sinai researchers studied the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s baseball shoulder injury rates and associated risk factors.

This research supports previous studies that encourage injury prevention measures, such as identifying and treating players with rotator cuff weakness and decreased range of motion during the preseason to reduce the risk of shoulder injuries during the regular season.

How: In the retrospective cohort study, researchers used the NCAA Injury Surveillance Program (ISP) database to examine current 5-year shoulder injury data for baseball players. men from the 2009-2010 to 2013-2014 seasons. The study looked at the occurrence of common injuries, such as those involving the rotator cuff, labrum, and biceps tendon. The researchers also looked at the player’s position, the need for surgery, and recurrence of injuries, among other factors.

Results: Researchers found that rotator cuff injuries accounted for almost half (46%) of all shoulder injuries, which were much more likely to end in season. The Mount Sinai team also found that pitching and throwing were associated with rotator cuff tears, cases of rotator cuff tendonitis, SLAP tears, and cases of biceps tendonitis.

Why the research is interesting: Mount Sinai researchers believe this is the first study to specifically analyze the epidemiology of shoulder injuries in NCAA baseball players.

Study Findings: Repeated over-the-head throws are a risk factor for shoulder injuries in college baseball players, often resulting in rotator cuff and bicep tendon injuries. While previous studies have evaluated strengthening and conditioning, number of throws and throwing mechanics, this research confirms that there is still a high rate of shoulder injuries for repetitive overhead throwers. . Researchers from Mount Sinai are encouraging doctors and coaches to refine and develop new injury prevention strategies to improve care for college baseball players.

Dr Daniel Charen of Mount Sinai said of the research:

The majority of shoulder injuries in NCAA baseball players involve the rotator cuff. Unfortunately, players who ultimately experience a rotator cuff tear are more likely to be out for the rest of the baseball season. While many important advances have been made in optimizing the health of the shoulders of baseball players, there is still an opportunity to improve injury prevention and treatment strategies in these repetitive pitchers.


Journal reference:

Vargas, L., et al. (2021) Analysis of Common Shoulder Injuries Among College Baseball Players. The doctor and sports medicine.


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