Beyond the Bases: Orthopedic Care in Baseball


Get your peanuts and Cracker Jacks – it’s baseball season! While most of us get to sit back and watch our favorite teams give it their all on the diamond, it can be a busy time for an orthopedic surgeon. Shoulder, knee, and extremities injuries are an unfortunate part of an exhilarating sport that sees repetitive motion and high-impact plays. Luckily, recent orthopedic solutions can help get players back to action.

Most people think of a pitcher’s shoulder when it comes to injury. Overuse of the arm can result in needing Tommy John surgery, or UCL reconstruction. This procedure requires a graft such as a palmaris longus or hamstring tendon. If a tendon is required from a donor, MTF Biologics uses strict screening criteria and aseptic processing. That means no harsh chemicals or terminal radiation are used. The result? Over 9 million grafts distributed with no transmittable diseases.

Overuse or trauma can also cause rotator cuff injury. While rest and anti-inflammatories could help minor tears, surgical repair is required for severe tears to remove damage tissue and reattach torn labrum. A variety of suture anchors can be used. This includes the Y-Knot® PRO RC All-Suture Anchor, which is small, soft, and secure, as well as the Argo Knotless® Suture Anchor. Argo Knotless® allows surgeons to maintain consistent suture tension from insertion to deployment thanks to Smart Tension Technology.

BioBrace® Implant allows surgeons to strengthen their repair and optimize healing. Unlike traditional implant materials that are either synthetic or biologic, BioBrace® is a biocomposite of both and provides supplemental strength through load sharing for approximately two years before naturally resorbing.*

Repetitive throwing motion can also cause labral tears, with severe cases requiring surgical intervention. All-suture anchors like the Y-Knot® PRO Flex can fix labrum tears and preserve bony areas with their small size that doesn’t sacrifice strength.

When it comes to extremities, ankle and wrist fractures and sprains are common while fielding, sliding, colliding, or getting hit with the ball. CONMED Foot and Ankle’s robust portfolio of fixation devices can help aid many of these injuries that sideline athletes.


Lower body injury is also common. Catchers and other position players can experience patellofemoral pain due to overloading the joint. Meniscal tears can occur from sudden twisting of pivoting movements that occur when fielding or base running. Infinity AIM™ can help maximize your repair with minimal anatomic disruption.

Let’s hope for a great baseball season where our favorite players have wonderful seasons. But, if injury should occur, it’s good to know that inventive medical devices are available to help.