SUNDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Now that the Major League
Baseball All-Star break has passed, the number of player injuries
should slow down for the remainder of the season, new research
Study findings to be presented Sunday at the annual meeting of
the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, in
Providence, R.I., show that almost 77 percent of Major League
pitcher injuries occur before the mid-season All-Star game and
almost 72 percent of all injuries to fielders do as well.
"Even though baseball is a passion of many people and our national pastime, there is very little information about the epidemiology, characteristics or distribution of injuries in Major League Baseball," Dr. Matthew Posner, orthopaedic surgeon at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, said in a news release from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. "This study attempts to evaluate Major League injuries over the period of six years."
The analysis of data from 2002 to 2008 found that 74.4 percent
of MLB players' injuries occurred before the All-Star game,
including 79 percent of all shoulder and elbow injuries to
pitchers, and 74.8 percent of all hamstring, quadriceps, groin and
core injuries to fielders.
Among injuries suffered by MLB players during those six seasons,
51.4 percent were upper-extremity injuries, 30.6 percent were in
the lower extremities, 7.4 percent were back injuries, and 4.3
percent were core muscle injuries, the study found.
Pitchers suffered 67 percent of the upper-extremity injuries,
while fielders had more lower-extremity injuries and injuries to
other parts of the body. Pitchers spent more time on the disabled
list (62.4 percent of the total), but both pitchers and fielders
spent significantly more days on the disabled list for
upper-extremity injuries than for lower-extremity injuries, the
The distribution of injuries by body region was nearly identical
for players in the National League and the American League.
National League players' injuries were: upper extremities, 51.7
percent; lower extremities, 30.7 percent; other body areas, 17.7
percent. The rates for American League players were: upper
extremities, 51.1 percent; lower extremities, 30.5 percent; other
body areas, 18.4 percent.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers
baseball safety tips.