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The Effect of Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction on Pitch Velocity in Major League Baseball Pitchers.

Lansdown DA, Feeley BT - Orthop J Sports Med (2014)

Bottom Line: Statistics were collected, including pitch velocity, pitch selection, and performance outcomes.Pre- and postoperative statistics were compared using paired t tests to allow for evaluation of each pitcher relative to his baseline velocity and performance.The greatest observed difference was in pitchers older than 35 years, with fastball velocity decreasing from 91.7 to 88.8 mph (P = .0048).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: The medial ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is the primary restraint to valgus load, and injury is commonly encountered as a result of overuse in throwing athletes. Reconstruction of this ligament has allowed for a high rate of return to sport for elite pitchers. Public perception of this procedure has resulted in a commonly held belief of increased throwing velocity following UCL reconstruction.

Hypothesis: Fastball velocity for Major League Baseball (MLB) pitchers is significantly decreased following UCL reconstruction.

Study design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods: A total of 129 pitchers were identified as undergoing UCL reconstruction from publicly available reports, and a final group of 80 MLB pitchers were included for analysis. Statistics were collected, including pitch velocity, pitch selection, and performance outcomes. Pre- and postoperative statistics were compared using paired t tests to allow for evaluation of each pitcher relative to his baseline velocity and performance.

Results: Mean fastball velocity was significantly decreased following UCL reconstruction, with a presurgical mean velocity of 91.3 mph and postoperative velocity of 90.6 mph (P = .003). The greatest observed difference was in pitchers older than 35 years, with fastball velocity decreasing from 91.7 to 88.8 mph (P = .0048). Pitchers threw fewer fastballs after reconstruction. Pitch velocity for curveballs, changeups, and sliders did not change significantly after UCL reconstruction. Additionally, pitchers threw fewer innings and pitches following reconstruction and produced fewer wins above replacement relative to their preinjury state.

Conclusion: Contrary to popular opinion, fastball velocity for MLB pitchers is significantly decreased following UCL reconstruction, which should reinforce the importance of preventing overuse injuries.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Relative percentages of various pitch types before and after ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction.*P = .0008; §P = .04.
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fig1-2325967114522592: Relative percentages of various pitch types before and after ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction.*P = .0008; §P = .04.

Mentions: Mean pitch velocity before and after injury is displayed in Table 2, and the frequency of each pitch type is shown in Figure 1. Mean fastball velocity was decreased significantly following UCL reconstruction, with preinjury fastball velocity at 91.3 mph and postinjury fastball velocity at 90.6 mph (P = .003). Pitchers threw fewer fastballs, with these pitches comprising 64.8% of pitches prior to injury and 60.4% of pitches after injury (P = .008). When comparing the 42 pitchers with more than 1 season both before and after injury, both fastball velocity (91.5 mph presurgery vs 90.8 mph postsurgery, P = .026) and fastballs as percentage of pitches thrown (67.2% vs 60.1%, P = .0002) remained significantly decreased. These results were similar, as pitch velocity for curveballs, sliders, and changeups did not change significantly after injury, and the relative percentage of each of these pitches also showed no statistical difference after surgery, with the exception of an increase in the percentage of sliders thrown in for the entire group (17.6% vs 19.9%, P = .04) and the group with more than 1 season before and after injury (18% vs 21.4%, P = .016).


The Effect of Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction on Pitch Velocity in Major League Baseball Pitchers.

Lansdown DA, Feeley BT - Orthop J Sports Med (2014)

Relative percentages of various pitch types before and after ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction.*P = .0008; §P = .04.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2 - License 3
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4555623&req=5

fig1-2325967114522592: Relative percentages of various pitch types before and after ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction.*P = .0008; §P = .04.
Mentions: Mean pitch velocity before and after injury is displayed in Table 2, and the frequency of each pitch type is shown in Figure 1. Mean fastball velocity was decreased significantly following UCL reconstruction, with preinjury fastball velocity at 91.3 mph and postinjury fastball velocity at 90.6 mph (P = .003). Pitchers threw fewer fastballs, with these pitches comprising 64.8% of pitches prior to injury and 60.4% of pitches after injury (P = .008). When comparing the 42 pitchers with more than 1 season both before and after injury, both fastball velocity (91.5 mph presurgery vs 90.8 mph postsurgery, P = .026) and fastballs as percentage of pitches thrown (67.2% vs 60.1%, P = .0002) remained significantly decreased. These results were similar, as pitch velocity for curveballs, sliders, and changeups did not change significantly after injury, and the relative percentage of each of these pitches also showed no statistical difference after surgery, with the exception of an increase in the percentage of sliders thrown in for the entire group (17.6% vs 19.9%, P = .04) and the group with more than 1 season before and after injury (18% vs 21.4%, P = .016).

Bottom Line: Statistics were collected, including pitch velocity, pitch selection, and performance outcomes.Pre- and postoperative statistics were compared using paired t tests to allow for evaluation of each pitcher relative to his baseline velocity and performance.The greatest observed difference was in pitchers older than 35 years, with fastball velocity decreasing from 91.7 to 88.8 mph (P = .0048).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: The medial ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is the primary restraint to valgus load, and injury is commonly encountered as a result of overuse in throwing athletes. Reconstruction of this ligament has allowed for a high rate of return to sport for elite pitchers. Public perception of this procedure has resulted in a commonly held belief of increased throwing velocity following UCL reconstruction.

Hypothesis: Fastball velocity for Major League Baseball (MLB) pitchers is significantly decreased following UCL reconstruction.

Study design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods: A total of 129 pitchers were identified as undergoing UCL reconstruction from publicly available reports, and a final group of 80 MLB pitchers were included for analysis. Statistics were collected, including pitch velocity, pitch selection, and performance outcomes. Pre- and postoperative statistics were compared using paired t tests to allow for evaluation of each pitcher relative to his baseline velocity and performance.

Results: Mean fastball velocity was significantly decreased following UCL reconstruction, with a presurgical mean velocity of 91.3 mph and postoperative velocity of 90.6 mph (P = .003). The greatest observed difference was in pitchers older than 35 years, with fastball velocity decreasing from 91.7 to 88.8 mph (P = .0048). Pitchers threw fewer fastballs after reconstruction. Pitch velocity for curveballs, changeups, and sliders did not change significantly after UCL reconstruction. Additionally, pitchers threw fewer innings and pitches following reconstruction and produced fewer wins above replacement relative to their preinjury state.

Conclusion: Contrary to popular opinion, fastball velocity for MLB pitchers is significantly decreased following UCL reconstruction, which should reinforce the importance of preventing overuse injuries.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus