Background: While the incidence of ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (UCLR) has increased across all levels of play, few studies have investigated the long-term outcomes in nonprofessional athletes.
Purpose: To determine the rate of progression to higher levels of play, long-term patient-reported outcomes (PROs), and long-term patient satisfaction in nonprofessional baseball players after UCLR.
Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.
Methods: We evaluated UCLR patients who were nonprofessional baseball athletes aged(KJOC), the Timmerman-Andrews (T-A) Elbow score, the Mayo Elbow Performance Score (MEPS), and a custom return-to-play questionnaire.
Results: A total of 91 baseball players met the inclusion criteria, and 67 (74%) patients were available to complete the follow-up surveys at a mean follow-up of 8.9 years (range, 5.5-13.9 years). At the time of the surgery, the mean age was 18.9 ± 1.9 years (range, 15-24 years). Return to play at any level was achieved in 57 (85%) players at a mean time of 12.6 months. Twenty-two (32.8%) of the initial cohort returned to play at the professional level. Also, 43 (79.1%) patients who initially returned to play after surgery reported not playing baseball at the final follow-up; of those patients, 12 reported their elbow as the main reason for eventual retirement. The overall KJOC, MEPS, and T-A scores were 82.8 ± 18.5 (range, 36-100), 96.7 ± 6.7 (range, 75-100), and 91.9 ± 11.4 (range, 50-100), respectively . There was an overall satisfaction score of 90.6 ± 21.5 out of 100, and 64 (95.5%) patients reported that they would undergo UCLR again.
Conclusion: In nonprofessional baseball players after UCLR, there was a high rate of progression to higher levels of play. Long-term PRO scores and patient satisfaction were high. The large majority of patients who underwent UCLR would undergo surgery again at long-term follow-up, regardless of career advancement.
Recommended CitationJack, Robert A; Rao, Somnath; D'Amore, Taylor; Willier, Donald III; Gallivan, Robert; Cohen, Steven B.; Dodson, Christopher C; and Ciccotti, Michael G., "Long-Term Sports Participation and Satisfaction After UCL Reconstruction in Amateur Baseball Players." (2021). Rothman Institute Faculty Papers. Paper 147.
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