The risk of injury plagues professional baseball players everywhere. If you’re familiar with the hustle and bustle of these athletes’ professional lives, you’ll understand why. Writing for Sports on Earth, Major League Baseball reporter Anthony Castrovince candidly enumerates certain factors that contribute to the sport’s high injury rate:
Funny thing about a sport that features unnatural mechanical motions, robust rotational movement, sudden and spontaneous sprinting, a hard ball thrown in the vicinity of a hard bat (or, sometimes, a body), day games after night games, whatever elements Mother Nature decides to unleash and — oh yeah — a 162-game schedule:
People get hurt.
Injuries have made their mark (sometimes, literally) on the pennant races already, testing the depth and creativity of clubs, and returns from injuries will go a long way toward determining who gets into October.
While looking through Castrovince’s list of baseball injury sufferers, you’ll notice that hand and arm injuries are very common. With the repeated stress and intense trauma that pitching or batting arms receive, it’s no wonder that these limbs get overused and damaged. However, such injuries do not necessarily mean the end of an athlete’s career or limit his mobility. Modern treatments can cure and rehabilitate injured extremities.
First stop: conservative management
Minor injuries may be addressed through conservative treatment and rehabilitation. In these cases, qualified Denver orthopedic surgeons usually advise athletes to rest the worn ligaments, muscles, or bones. Medications may be prescribed for pain, while casts, splints, slings, and other corrective or assistive devices may help stabilize the injury and enhance the healing process.
As for rehabilitation (which is also necessary for surgical cases), injured athletes may be required to sit out games and practices for weeks or even months, depending on their condition. During this period, physical therapy helps restore the full function and mobility of the affected hand, elbow, arm, and/or shoulder.
If all else fails…
In the event that surgical correction is required, a board-certified Denver orthopedic surgeon can perform either arthroscopic or more invasive procedures. The former involves the use of tiny instruments guided by a small camera, while the latter uses traditional surgical incisions, tools, and techniques. A trusted orthopedic surgery and sports medicine practice like Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver has board-certified orthopedic surgeons who are experienced in arthroscopic procedures, Tommy John surgeries (UCL reconstructions), and surgical treatments for other baseball injuries.
(Source: RANKING BASEBALL’S INJURY SUFFERERS, Sports on Earth, August 15, 2014)