Shoulder injuries in the skeletally immature baseball pitcher and recommendations for the prevention of injury

PM R. 2012 Jul;4(7):509-16. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2012.04.005.


Since 1996, when the first article on pitch restriction recommendations was published, the number of research articles involving skeletally immature pitchers has increased. Potential shoulder injuries in this age group are proximal humeral epiphysiolysis, glenohumeral instability, rotator cuff dysfunction, and superior labrum anteroposterior lesions. Fatigue, improper biomechanics, and overuse are the most common reasons for these injuries. In the hopes of preventing injury to young pitchers, numerous organizations, including the USA Baseball Medical & Safety Advisory Committee, The American Sports Medicine Institute, Little League Baseball & Softball, and the Long Term Athlete Development Program for Baseball Canada, have developed recommendations on pitching restrictions that include limits on pitch count, pitches per week, pitches per season, and rest between pitching. Awareness by sports medicine providers, coaches, and parents/guardians of the most up-to-date recommendations on injury prevention and return to play guidelines should reduce the incidence of acute and chronic injuries in adolescent baseball pitchers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Baseball / injuries*
  • Baseball / physiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / physiopathology
  • Epiphyses, Slipped / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology
  • Rest / physiology
  • Rotator Cuff / physiopathology
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology
  • Sports Medicine