Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder News

Return To Pitching After Shoulder Surgery Not As Good As Expected

New statistics are available on the rate of return to sport (RTS) for baseball players. The focus of this study was professional baseball players, especially pitchers. Players were included from the major league, class AAA minor league, and class AA minor league. Forty-four (44) players in one of these three groups had elbow or shoulder surgery.

The outcomes were tabulated with the following results:

  • More players who had elbow surgery returned to play compared to shoulder surgery
  • Over one-third of the players retired after surgery
  • Minor league players were more likely to return to play than upper-level
    professional players
  • Less than one out of every four players was able to return to his pre-injury level of sports participation

    What's the bottom-line with all these statistics? Even with good treatment, return to sports play after shoulder surgery isn't guaranteed. In fact, it turns out that return may not be as high as expected. Higher-level athletes are the least likely to return to their previous level of play. Only one out of 12 was able to do so.

    Some players are able to return to the game playing at the same (or even higher) level after surgery. Sometimes players opt to play at a lower level instead of giving up the game altogether.

    Steven B. Cohen, MD. More Baseball Players Return to Pre-injury Levels After Elbow Vs. Shoulder Surgery. In Orthopedics Today. May 2008. Vol. 28. No. 5. Pp. 47.


    *Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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