What are Baseball Injuries?
Baseball is a popular game for men and women of all ages. It’s a sport that can be played professionally as well as for fun, giving people the opportunity to stay active for most of the year. There’s hardball and softball. However, the risk of injury for both types of baseball players occurs because of the strains from swinging a bat, throwing a ball, sliding into base and the presence of other players competing for the same dirt. Overuse injuries are also common in baseball players due to the long hours of practice that typically require repetitive and forceful motions.
Types of Baseball Injuries.
Baseball injuries are typically diagnosed into two categories: overuse or acute injuries. Due to the frequency to which baseball players practice, overuse injuries become a very real part of the life of baseball players.
In fact, overuse injuries are the most common type of injury affecting baseball players, and they can develop slowly over time. They may begin as a mild pain and can progress into a debilitating injury if treatment is not initiated early. These are most common at the beginning and end of the season.
Another common type of baseball injury is a traumatic or acute injury. These injuries happen as a result of an unexpected force, perhaps an errant swing or throw, or impact, that can injure their arm.
Characteristics and Clinical Presentation of Baseball Injuries
The clinical presentation of baseball injuries varies in relation to the part of the arm affected. Any player who has been affected by an accident or new pain should be seen by an orthopedic hand surgeon as soon as possible to get the right treatment.
The most common baseball injuries from the hand to the elbow are:
- Tendonitis of the wrist:The tendons on the thumb and pinky sides are most vulnerable to strain and inflammation.
- Ulnar collateral ligament Injury: The ulnar collateral ligament is an elbow stabilizer. This type of injury can produce pain at the internal part of the elbow radiating to the forearm.
- Muscle Sprains and Strains: Sprains and strains are common injuries in baseball players. Even the fingers are affected. Symptoms will vary based on the severity of the injury. The injury can normally be treated with R. I. C. E. applying rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Causes of Baseball Injuries
The cause of a baseball injury will often depend on the player’s position. There are some injuries common to the fielders and others related to the pitcher, for example.
Elbow pain is also common in this sport, especially secondary to the injury to the ulnar collateral ligament. This injury has a high incidence in all levels of pitchers.
Medial Epicondylitis, or Golfer’s elbow, is another type of overuse injury produced by the action of the wrist flexors and pronator stretching at the elbow. Acute trauma can produce elbow injury, such as bursitis of the elbow, which may occur after falling on the elbow, or lateral epicondylitis after being hit by a pitch.
Baseball can lead to acute or traumatic injuries in the wrists and hands due to catching or throwing the ball incorrectly or falling, in addition to overuse injuries. Some examples of acute conditions are wrist sprains caused by a fall or impact, and fractures of the fingers that are secondary to an impact with the ball or by falls. Thumb ligaments tear with impact against the bag in slides or diving for an outfield fly ball. Pitchers can tear flexor tendon sheath pulleys.
Overuse of the wrist can lead to the development of wrist tendinitis, and this injury is often produced by continuous pitching or throwing.
Baseball players can also incur other mild injuries, such as blisters, delayed-onset muscle soreness, sprains and strains, and stress fractures.
If a player has been injured, it’s important that they listen to their body and schedule an examination with a trained orthopedic hand surgeon. Our hand surgeons are experts in sports injuries, their causes, and treatments.
Conservative Treatments for Baseball Injuries
Players who have sprained a joint or strained a muscle, are experiencing soreness, or who have been diagnosed with another injury should refrain from playing and practicing until they are cleared by a surgeon.
At HandSport Surgery Institute, surgery is generally not the first option. For baseball players who have been diagnosed with most injuries, conservative treatment options will be recommended. For example, rest, elevation, physical and occupational therapy, and proper skills and position training can help a player avoid further injury, and get back in their game sooner.
In the case that a baseball player has a severe injury or one that is not responding to conservative treatment options, surgery may be recommended.
Dr. Jason Pruzansky and Dr. Mark Pruzansky are specialized in arthroscopic and minimally invasive techniques, giving them the ability to repair some of the smaller and most complex injuries, minimizing scarring and stiffness. For baseball players who may be experiencing a severe injury, surgery may be the best option to optimize mobility and function in the affected area.
Preventing Baseball Injuries
Preventing acute injuries like muscle and ligament tears require a reduction in stress to the arm. Warming up and stretching before practice is essential. The initial management of the acute injury, ice, elevation, and careful compression of the affected area.
If You Believe You Have a Baseball Injury, Contact HandSport Surgery Institute
Please contact us to schedule an appointment with our talented team. People who have been hurt while playing baseball ought to be evaluated to reduce the risk of further injury and mobility issues.
If you have been injured, it’s important to be evaluated by a highly skilled professional. Call Drs. Mark and Jason Pruzansky at 212-249-8700 to schedule an appointment and obtain an accurate diagnosis.