Baseball & Softball

According to the U.S. 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 of high-speed balls involved in baseball and softball can lead to a variety of sports injuries, both cumulative (from overuse) and acute (from a sudden impact). Our orthopedic surgeons and specialists, athletic trainers and physical and occupational therapists offer world-class diagnoses and treatments. 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 injury specialists at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine to get their baseball players off the injured list and back on the field.

Common Baseball and Softball Injuries
Below are some of the areas of the body and the specific injuries baseball and softball players may encounter:

  • Shoulder:
    • Bursitis
    • Impingement syndrome (inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff)
    • Shoulder instability (a loosening of the structures that keep the ball of the shoulder in the socket)
    • Shoulder separation
    • Tendonitis
    • Rotator cuff tears
  • Elbow:
    • Little leaguer's elbow (inflammation on the inner side of the elbow, common in pitchers age 16 and younger; 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, where the ulnar collateral ligament is grafted or replaced with a tendon from elsewhere in the body)
  • Hand or wrist:
    • Finger fractures
    • Bursitis
    • Wrist sprains
    • Wrist tendonitis
    • Tenosynovitis (inflammation of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist)

Baseball Safety and Injury Prevention Tips
Athletes are prone to injury, whether a casual player or elite professional. Here are some valuable tips to keep you safe and healthy.

  • Get a pre-season physical exam to identify any orthopedic issues before they become a problem.
  • 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 on the field with a first-aid kit, a supply of ice and the phone number readily available 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.

Trust our team of sports injury specialists at Houston Methodist to remove you from the injured list and provide you with the knowledge to help prevent future injuries.