Long-term Outcomes After Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction in Competitive Baseball Players: Minimum 10-Year Follow-up

Long-term Outcomes After Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction in Competitive Baseball Players: Minimum 10-Year Follow-up

 

 

(Andrews et al.; The American Journal of Sports Medicine; April 2014)

 

Note: Daryl Osbahr, MD is a team physician for WSH

  • 256 participants were all UCL reconstructions performed on competitive baseball players by Dr. Andrews with a minimum 10-year follow up. All participants also followed the 4-phase rehabilitation program from Wilk.
  • 19% (49 players) had a least had at least one other elbow surgery after the UCL reconstruction, with more than half of the surgeries due to compression and damage to soft tissue (cartilage) in the elbow joint (posteromedial impingement). There were 8 arthroscopic or open elbow debridements, 6 revision UCL reconstructions and 4 ulnar nerve decompressions, among others.
  • Shoulder problems were common after UCL reconstruction with 87 (34%) having shoulder problems and 65 (25%) having shoulder surgery.
  • 83% returned to the same or higher level of play and this result varied by preoperative level of play (92% in college; 79% in majors; 76% in minors; 81% in high school.
  • Overall length of a baseball career after UCL reconstruction is 3.6 years and varied based on preoperative level of play
  • Return to play in 4.2 months (throwing) and 11.6 months (competition)
  • 40% were able to return to a higher level of play and 10% were unable to return to competitive baseball