Pitch Velocity Is a Predictor of Medial Elbow Distraction Forces in the Uninjured High School-Aged Baseball Pitcher

Wendy J. Hurd, Reza Jazayeri, Karen Mohr, Orr Limpisvasti, Neal S. ElAttrache, Kenton R. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Medial elbow injuries are common among baseball pitchers. Easily accessed methods to assess medial elbow stress may be useful in identifying individuals with increased injury risk. Hypothesis: Pitch velocity (PV) is positively associated with higher medial elbow adduction moments. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2. Methods: Participants included 26 uninjured high school pitchers, 15 to 18 years in age. Three-dimensional data and PV were collected as athletes threw 10 fastballs for strikes to a regulation-distance target. Variables of interest were the normalized peak internal elbow adduction moment and peak PV. Linear regression was performed to evaluate the influence of PV on the adduction moment. Results: For the group, mean PV was 71 mph (range, 58-81 mph), and the adduction moment was 0.558 Nm/Ht × mass (range, 0.378-0.723). PV was positively associated with the adduction moment (P <0.01, R2= 0.373). Conclusions: Talented young pitchers may be more susceptible to elbow injuries as a consequence of a biomechanical coupling between PV and upper extremity joint moments.Clinical Relevance: PV may be measured easily and serve as an indicator of medial elbow stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-418
Number of pages4
JournalSports Health
Volume4
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • adolescent
  • biomechanics
  • injury risk
  • throwing
  • upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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