Return to Sport After Arthroscopic Capsular Repair in Elite Baseball Players

William J. Uffmann, Neal S. ElAttrache, Keon Youssefzadeh, Andrew Carbone, Orr Limpisvasti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Chronic attritional midsubstance capsular tears arising from repetitive throwing stress are a rare but important source of pain and dysfunction in elite baseball players; however, little is known regarding outcomes after arthroscopic capsular repair. Purpose: To evaluate the patient-reported outcomes and return-to-sport (RTS) rates after arthroscopic capsular repair in elite baseball players. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: We identified 11 elite-level baseball players who were treated with arthroscopic repair for a midsubstance glenohumeral capsular tear by a single surgeon with a uniform approach and a standardized postoperative protocol between 2012 and 2019. All players had at least 2 years of follow-up data. Demographic data and concomitant surgical procedures were recorded. Preoperative and postoperative Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic (KJOC) scores and Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE) scores were collected in a subset of the cohort, and statistical comparisons were made. A telephone survey was conducted to determine the patients’ RTS level and outcome scores. Statistical comparisons between preoperative and postoperative outcomes scores were made using t tests. Results: Eight major league players, 1 minor league player, and 2 collegiate players were included. There were 9 pitchers, 1 catcher, and 1 outfielder. All patients had debridement of the posterosuperior labrum and rotator cuff. Two pitchers underwent a rotator cuff repair, and 1 outfielder underwent a posterior labral repair. The mean age at the time of surgery was 26.9 years (range, 20-34 years), with a mean follow-up of 3.5 years (range, 2.6-5.9 years). There were significant preoperative versus postoperative improvements in the mean KJOC (20.6 vs 89.8; P =.0002) and SANE (28.3 vs 86.7; P =.001) scores. All patients reported a high degree of satisfaction. At a mean of 16.3 months (range, 6.5-25.4 months), 10 of 11 (90.1%) players met the Conway-Jobe good or excellent criteria for RTS. Conclusion: Arthroscopic capsular repair provided significant improvements in functional outcomes in elite baseball players, high levels of patient satisfaction, and high levels of RTS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic
  • arthroscopic capsular repair
  • baseball
  • capsule tear
  • return to sport
  • shoulder


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