Injury Prevention in Baseball: from Youth to the Pros

  • Heath P. Melugin
  • Nels D. Leafblad
  • Christopher L. Camp
  • Stan Conte
Injuries in Overhead Athletes (J Dines and C Camp, section editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Injuries in Overhead Athletes


Purpose of Review

This review examines recent literature on injury epidemiology and prevention in the sport of baseball from youth to professional levels.

Recent Findings

Overuse is the predominant mechanism of injury in youth baseball players. Newer stretching and exercise protocols may help prevent these injuries. At the professional level, however, overuse has not been proven to correlate with increased injury incidence, but pitch counts are still monitored. There continues to be a rise in operations performed for baseball-related injuries, including ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction, particularly in younger athletes. As the level of play increases, there is significant loss of participation due to injuries, such as the UCL in the upper extremity and the hamstrings in the lower extremity.


Baseball is a widely popular sport, which has led to a focus on injury epidemiology and prevention. While the majority of research regarding baseball injuries focuses on pitchers, fielders and catchers are also at risk. In an attempt to decrease non-contact injuries in the upper and lower extremities, stretching and strengthening exercises are vitally important. Because injury profiles demonstrate significant variability from youth to professional baseball, unique prevention strategies are likely necessary at each level. More research is needed to develop and validate appropriately targeted injury prevention programs.


Baseball injuries Injury prevention Ulnar collateral ligament Overuse Professional Youth 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heath P. Melugin
    • 1
  • Nels D. Leafblad
    • 1
  • Christopher L. Camp
    • 1
  • Stan Conte
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, Mayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Santa Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA

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