Because throwing and overhead-focused sports, such as baseball, softball, swimming, volleyball and tennis, place unique demands on the body, they can lead to certain injuries that require specialized treatment. Through years of research and clinical experience, specialists at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine have developed the expertise needed to help injured athletes return to these high-demand activities.
Faculty members collaborating on research related to treatment of injuries caused by throwing and overhead-focused sports include:
OCD lesions of the capitellum are common in overhead athletes and can be difficult to treat. Learn about current literature and the treatment algorithm used at Mayo Clinic.
Logli AL, Bernard CD, O'Driscoll SW, Sanchez-Sotelo J, Morrey ME, Krych AJ, Camp CL. Osteochondritis dissecans lesions of the capitellum in overhead athletes: A review of current evidence and proposed treatment algorithm. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. 2019;12:1.
Recent findings in the normal structure, anatomy and function of the UCL (Tommy John ligament).
Labott JR, Aibinder WR, Dines JS, Camp CL. Understanding the medial ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow: Review of native ligament anatomy and function. World Journal of Orthopedics. 2018;9:78.
Return to play rates, return to play times and subsequent surgeries of every Tommy John surgery performed in professional baseball pitchers from 1974 to 2016.
Camp CL, Conte S, D'Angelo J, Fealy SA. Epidemiology of ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction in Major and Minor League Baseball pitchers: Comprehensive report of 1429 cases. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. 2018;27:871.
During Tommy John surgery, tunnels are drilled into the bones for the new ligament, impacting the blood flow of the area. The docking technique is the least disruptive to blood flow.
Camp CL, Klinger CE, Lazaro LE, Villa JC, van der List JP, Altchek DW, Lorich DG, Dines JS. Osseous vascularity of the medial elbow after ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction: A comparison of the docking and modified jobe techniques. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. April 2, 2018.
Insertional anatomy of the UCL (Tommy John ligament) is larger and longer than previously thought.
Camp CL, Jahandar H, Sinatro AM, Imhauser CW, Altcheck DW, Dines JS. Quantitative anatomic analysis of the medial ulnar collateral ligament complex of the elbow. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. March 26, 2018.
Professional baseball injury trends, days missed, treatments, outcomes and much more from 50,000 injuries occurring from 2011 to 2016 in professional baseball. Individual injury types broken down into great detail.
Camp CL, Dines JS, van der List JP, Conte S, Conway J, Altchek DW, Coleman SH, Pearle AD. Summative report on time out of play for major and minor league baseball: An analysis of 49,955 injuries from 2011 through 2016. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2018;46:1727.
Catchers had the lowest return to play rate of any position in professional baseball from 1974 to 2016 dispels previous ideas that position players recovered from Tommy John surgery more quickly than pitchers.
Camp CL, Conte S, D'Angelo J, Fealy SA. Following ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, professional baseball position players return to play faster than pitchers, but catchers return less frequently. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. 2018;27:1078.
Professional baseball pitchers having UCL reconstruction (Tommy John surgery) as amateurs (before they were drafted), performed as well as, if not better than, matched controls without elbow surgery.
Camp CL, Conte S, D'Angelo J, Fealy SA, Ahmad CS. Effect of predraft ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction on future performance in professional baseball: A matched cohort comparison. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2018;46:1459.
A literature review of injury prevention strategies at each level of baseball, from youth to professional.
Melugin HP, Leafblad ND, Camp CL, Conte S. Injury prevention in baseball: From youth to the pros. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. 2018;11:26.
A summary of the most recent information on biceps and superior labral complex injuries (SLAP tears) common in overhead athletes and tough to treat.
Calcei JG, Boddapati V, Altcheck DW, Camp CL, Dines JS. Diagnosis and treatment of injuries to the biceps and superior labral complex in overhead athletes. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. 2018;11:63.
The best alternative options, both surgical and nonoperative, for UCL (Tommy John) injuries.
Clark NJ, Desai VS, Dines JD, Morrey ME, Camp CL. Nonreconstruction options for treating medial ulnar collateral ligament injuries of the rlbow in overhead athletes. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. 2018;11:48.
Restricted shoulder range of motion increases the risk of elbow injuries in professional baseball pitchers, but not all motion deficits are the same.
Camp CL, Zajac JM, Pearson DB, Sinatro AM, Spiker AM, Werner BC, Altchek DW, Coleman SH, Dines JS. Decreased shoulder external rotation and flexion are greater predictors of injury than internal rotation deficits: Analysis of 132 pitcher-seasons in professional baseball. Arthroscopy. 2017;33:1629.
Wearable technology is used to describe and characterize numerous throwing metrics in healthy, professional baseball pitchers. Normal values in healthy pitchers are compared in injured and recovering pitchers.
Camp CL, Tubbs TG, Fleisig GS, Dines JS, Dines DM, Altchek DW, Dowling B. The relationship of throwing arm mechanics and elbow varus torque: Within-subject variation for professional baseball pitchers across 82,000 throws. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2017;45:3030.