According to the US Consumer Products Safety Commission, more than 627,000 baseball-related injuries are treated every year in hospitals, doctors' offices, and other medical facilities.*
The frequent throwing, bat-swinging, and catching high-speed balls involved in baseball can lead to a large variety of sports injuries, both cumulative (from overuse) and acute (from a sudden impact).
Shoulder injuries can include:
- Impingement syndrome (inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff)
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Shoulder instability (a loosening of the structures that keep the ball of the shoulder in the socket)
- Shoulder separation
- Torn rotator cuff
Elbow injuries can include:
- "Little leaguer's elbow" (inflammation on the inner side of the elbow, common in pitchers age 16 and under; also called golfer's elbow or medial epicondylitis)
- Tennis elbow (inflammation on the outside of the elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis)
- Medial elbow ligament tears ("Tommy John" surgery)
Hand or wrist injuries can include:
- Finger fractures
- Wrist sprains
- Wrist tendonitis
- Tenosynovitis (inflammation tendons on the thumb side of the wrist)
Baseball Safety and Injury Prevention Tips
Have a pre-season physical exam to identify any orthopedic issues before they become problems.
- Make sure to warm up and stretch before every game and practice session.
- Inspect the field for any uneven turf, glass, debris, and other potential hazards before play begins.
- Be prepared for emergencies with a first aid kit, a supply of ice, and the phone number of your team physician or the nearest medical facility.
- Make sure all equipment fits properly and is worn correctly.
- Many injuries occur while sliding into bases; use breakaway instead of stationary bases to reduce the risk of injury.
From the Houston Astros to the Rice Owls to high school and little league teams around the city, coaches and team doctors trust the sports medicine specialists at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine get their baseball players off the injured list and back on the field.