Predicting the risk of elbow injury in professional baseball players

Preseason shoulder range of motion screening and in-season risk of shoulder and elbow injuries in overhead athletes: systematic review and meta-analysis. Pozzi, F., Plummer, H. A., Shanley, E., Thigpen, C. A., Bauer, C., Wilson, M. L., & Michener, L. A. (2020) Level of Evidence: 1a Follow recommendation: 👍 👍 👍 👍 Type of study: Prognostic Topic: Elbow injury - risk factor This is a systematic review and meta-analysis assessing the usefulness of shoulder range of movement screening to predict upper limb injury in overhead athletes. The systematic review included prospective studies only. Shoulder flexion, shoulder internal and external rotation at 90° of shoulder abduction, and shoulder horizontal adduction were assessed. Injury was defined as any shoulder or elbow related complaint incurred in the season. A total of 7 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Overhead sports included baseball (n = 2471), handball (n = 535), softball (n = 103), swimming (n = 74), volleyball (n = 66), and tennis (n = 65). The results showed that shoulder external rotation on the throwing arm was a useful screening tool for professional baseball pitchers. Those players who did not present with an external rotation of the throwing arm of at least 5° greater than the contralateral, were twice as likely to injure their pitching shoulder or elbow. Limited evidence was available for the other overhead sports. This may be due to the small number of studies investigating athletes involved in other sports. Clinical Take Home Message: Hand therapists may test shoulder external rotation in professional baseball pitchers to assess their risk of developing an elbow or shoulder injury. Interventions aimed at modifying these impairments may be useful in reducing their risk of elbow and shoulder injury. URL: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2020/01/13/bjsports-2019-100698

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