For a retrospective case series study, the researchers sought to determine the epidemiology of degenerative cervical and lumbar spinal disorders in Major League Baseball (MLB) and Minor League Baseball (MiLB) players. The MLB-commissioned Health and Injury Tracking System database collected de-identified data on spine injuries from all MLB and MiLB teams from 2011 to 2016. Diagnoses of common degenerative spinal disorders were evaluated, as well as their impact on days missed due to injury, the need for surgery, player involvement, and career-ending status. Following previous research, injury rates were given as injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures. From 2011 to 2016, 172 spine-related injuries caused 4,246 days of missed play. The lumbar spine was responsible for 73.3% of the cases, while the cervical spine was responsible for 26.7%. Surgery was necessary in a similar proportion of cases (18.3% of lumbar injuries vs 13.0% of cervical injuries, P=0.2164). Players with cervical injuries were older than those with lumbar injuries (27.5 vs 25.4, P=0.0119). The average number of days missed owing to lumbar injuries was substantially higher than the average number of days missed due to cervical injuries (21.6 vs 34.1 days, P=0.0468). Pitchers had considerably more significant rates of spine injuries than other position players (0.086 per 1,000 athlete-exposures vs 0.037, P<0.0001). Neurologic illnesses affecting the cervical and lumbar spine cause significant disability in MLB and Minor League Baseball players and days missed from the field. Pitchers have more than double the injury rate of other position players. In addition, lumbar problems were linked to a considerable increase in the number of days spent out of the game.

 

Link:journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/2022/03150/Epidemiology_of_Spine_Related_Neurologic_Injuries.14.aspx