Baseball Injuries 

iStock_000020627657_MediumThe U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that in 2010 more than 414,000 Americans were treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and hospital emergency rooms, for baseball-related injuries. More than 282,000 of the players treated were 18 years old or younger.

Cause

The most common baseball injuries include mild soft tissue injuries, such as muscle pulls (strains), ligament injuries (sprains), cuts, and contusions (bruises).

Although baseball is a non-contact sport, most serious injuries are due to contact — either with a ball, bat, or another player.

The repetitive nature of the sport can also cause overuse injuries to the shoulder and elbow.

When playing repetitive sports, you should take these components into consideration:

Proper Preparation for Play

For Coaches

  • First aid. Familiarity with first aid, including recognizing and treating the most common injuries, is especially important for coaches. Be able to administer basic first aid for minor injuries, such as facial cuts, bruises, strains, sprains, and tendonitis.
  • Field knowledge. Be familiar with your baseball field, including its telephone and cardiac defibrillator.
  • Emergency situations. Be prepared for emergencies. Have a plan to reach medical personnel for help with more significant injuries like concussions, breathing problems like wheezing, heat illness, and orthopaedic emergencies, such as fractures and dislocations.
  • Follow the rules. Know the rules and encourage safe and appropriate play.

For Players

  • Physical exam. A pre-season physical exam is important for both younger and older players. The goal is to prevent injuries and illnesses by identifying any potential medical problems. These may include asthma, allergies, heart, or orthopaedic conditions.
  • Warm up and stretch. Always take time to warm up and stretch.
  • Warm up with some easy calisthenics, such as jumping jacks. Continue with walking or light running, such as running the bases.
  • Gentle stretching, in particular your back, hamstrings, and shoulders, can be helpful. Your team coach or athletic trainer may provide a stretching program.
  • Ensure Appropriate Equipment and Its Use
  • Batting helmet with face shield
  • Equipment should fit properly and be worn correctly.
  • Wear a batting helmet at the plate, in the “on deck” circle waiting your turn at bat, and during base running.
  • Protective face shields attached to batting helmets can reduce the risk of facial injury if hit by a ball.
  • Position-specific equipment should be used.
  • Catchers should always use a catcher’s mitt, helmet, face mask, throat guard, long-model chest protector, protective supporter, and shin guards.
  • Catcher’s protective gear
  • Batters should consider wearing protective jackets to avoid injury from being hit by ball.
  • Wear molded baseball shoes that fit properly and have appropriate cleats.
  • Gender-specific equipment may be of value, including athletic supports for boys/men and padded bras for girls/women.
  • In youth leagues, softer baseballs decrease the risk of injury from being hit by a pitched ball.
  • Players should be instructed in how to avoid getting hit by a ball.
  • Ensure a Safe Environment
  • Inspect the playing field for uneven terrain (holes, divots), glass, and other debris.
  • Use a field with breakaway bases. Many injuries occur while sliding into bases. The traditional stationary base is a rigid obstacle for an athlete to encounter while sliding. In contrast, a breakaway base is snapped onto grommets attached to an anchored rubber mat, which holds it in place during normal play. Although a sliding runner can dislodge it, the breakaway base is stable and will not detach during normal base running. Installing breakaway bases on all playing fields could significantly decrease sliding injuries.
  • Assess weather conditions and be prepared to delay/cancel the game, especially in cases of particularly hot weather or thunderstorms with lightning.

Conditions

  • Achilles Tendon Injury
  • Adolescent Anterior Knee Pain
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Baseball Injuries
  • Basketball Injuries
  • Burners & Stingers
  • Bursitis of the Hip
  • Compartment Syndrome
  • Elbow Fractures
  • Forearm Fractures in Children
  • Fracture of the Proximal Tibia
  • Golf Injuries
  • Growth Plate Fractures
  • Hamstring Muscle Injuries
  • High School Sports Injuries
  • Hockey Injuries
  • Jumper’s Knee Injuries
  • Meniscus Tear
  • Muscle Contusion (Bruise)
  • Runner’s Knee
  • Shoulder Separation Injury
  • Skiing Injuries
  • Sledding Injuries
  • Soccer Injuries
  • Sprains, Strains & Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Stress Fractures
  • Swimming Injuries
  • Tennis Injuries
  • Throwing Injuries
  • Volleyball Injuries

Treatments

  • Achilles Tendon Repair
  • Acromioplasty
  • Ankle Fracture Repair (Ilizarov/Deformity Correction)
  • Ankle Joint Fusion(Ilizarov/Deformity Correction) Surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repair
  • Arthroscopic Chondroplasty
  • Arthroscopic Meniscus Repair
  • Bankart Repair
  • Biceps Tendon Rupture Surgery
  • Biceps Tenodesis
  • Broken Collarbone Surgery
  • Cartilage Transplant
  • Elbow Epicondylitis Surgery (Tenex Repair)
  • Elbow Fracture Surgery
  • Hand & Wrist Surgery
  • High Tibial Osteotomy
  • Knee Arthroscopy
  • Labrum Surgery
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament Surgery
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Repair
  • Meniscus Repair
  • Muscle Strain Treatment
  • MPFL – Reconstruction of the Patella
  • Non-Unions of the Tibia Fractures (Ilizarov Correction Surgery)
  • OCE – Repair of the Osteochondritis
  • Overuse Injury Treatment
  • Partial Menisectomy
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Repair
  • Revision Shoulder Replacement Surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery
  • Shoulder Arthroscopy
  • Shoulder Arthroplasty
  • Subchondroplasty
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome Surgery
  • Shoulder Separation Surgery
  • Taylor Spatial Frame Surgery
  • Throwing Injury Surgery

Conservative Treatments

The Orthopedic physicians at Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic provide conservative treatment options for Sports Related conditions and injuries.

Symptoms

Shoulder Tendinitis

Tendons are flexible bands of fibrous tissues that fasten muscles to bones. They also connect the rotator cuff and the biceps. Shoulder tendinitis can result from tension in these structures. If the tendon of the rotator cuff thickens and inflames, it will get stuck at the top of the shoulder blade. Symptoms include redness, swelling and pain.

Shoulder Bursitis

Bursae are small sacs of synovial fluid that can be found on points where tendons and muscles glide across bones. These can be inflamed due to excessive movement, extreme pressure and trauma. Symptoms include erythema – stinging pain around the area that surrounds the bursae and joint.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

This is also called “thrower’s shoulder”, simply because repetitive throwing can cause this condition. The muscle tendons of the rotator cuff goes through a small space between the head of humerus and the acromion process of the scapula, and when space is narrowed further by subacromial bursa, Impingement Syndrome can be developed. Symptoms include pain, loss of shoulder movement and weakness.

Torn Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff plays a crucial part in throwing and pitching, which means it is exposed to high levels of stress for baseball players. It means that one or more rotator cuff muscle tendons have been torn away. Symptoms include pain, bruising and inflammation. Recovery time usually covers a month but can be prolonged if activities that involve the injured shoulder are not decreased.

Adhesive Capsulitis

This is also referred to as “frozen shoulder” because it can severely reduce the motion range of the shoulder joint. Trauma during game or practice can cause this frustrating condition. Recovery can take several months to 3 years.

Shoulder Separation

This refers to the tearing of ligaments (or extreme stretching) where the clavicle (collarbone) and scapula (shoulder blade) meet. This is also called the AC (acromioclavicular) joint. When these ligaments tear – completely or even just partially – the collarbone can detach from the scapula.

Shoulder Instability

This is the state wherein structures that mount the shoulder joint fail to keep the ball securely within its socket. A joint that is too loose may slide out partially and lead to shoulder subluxation. And if it moves completely out of place, it is termed shoulder dislocation.

Diagnosis

Physical Examination & Patient History

During your first visit, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and medical history. During the physical examination, your doctor will check all the structures of your injury, and compare them to your non-injured anatomy.  Most injuries can be diagnosed with a thorough physical examination.

Imaging Tests

Imaging Tests Other tests which may help your doctor confirm your diagnosis include:

X-rays. Although they will not show any injury, x-rays can show whether the injury is associated with a broken bone.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. If your injury requires an MRI, this study is utilized to create a better image of soft tissues injuries. However, an MRI may not be required for your particular injury circumstance and will be ordered based on a thorough examination by your Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic Orthopedic physician.

Principles of Sports Medicine

  • Timely Care

  • Minimally Invasive Procedures

  • Advanced Rehabilitation

  • Injury Prevention

One of the main goals of sports medicine is to put off major orthopedic surgery (such as joint replacement) as long as possible or even remove the need altogether with physical therapy, minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery and timely care.

When everything is working well, you hardly give them a thought. But when a problem arises, it’s often impossible to ignore.

Treatment Options

Non-Surgical

The most obvious treatment for overuse is rest, especially from the activity that created the injury. Ice is also used to reduce soreness and inflammation. Ibuprofen can be taken to help with any pain. If symptoms persist, it is critical that a physician be contacted, especially if there is a lack of full-joint motion. An examination and radiographs should be done. An MRI scan may also be helpful.

Usually a simple “rest cure” approach will not be enough, because even though it allows symptoms to subside, it also creates loss of muscle bulk, tone, flexibility, and endurance. Once pain is gone and full motion is present, a throwing rehabilitation program can start.

Surgical

Under some circumstances, surgery may be necessary to correct a problem. Overuse and stress related problems can affect growing parts of bone, not just the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, and ligaments). If the condition is not treated, it could cause deformity of the limb and permanent disability. The athlete should return to play only when clearance is granted by a Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic health care professional.

Conservative Treatment Options

  • Non-Operative Sports Medicine Treatment

Treatment Highlights

FastFix 360 – Meniscus Repair

Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic

The Orthopaedic physicians at Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic provide comprehensive services to all members of the family.
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