Effects of lumbar disk herniation on the careers of professional baseball players

Jeffrey S. Earhart*, David Roberts, Gilbert Roc, Stephen Gryzlo, Wellington Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Outcomes after lumbar disk herniation in baseball athletes are currently unknown. It has been postulated that the repetitive torque-producing motions of a baseball player may have negative implications after a disk injury. Sixty-nine lumbar disk herniations (40 treated operatively, 29 nonoperatively) in 64 professional baseball players were identified, and important outcome measures including successful return to play, time to recovery, career longevity, and performance based on vital statistics to each position were documented. Ninety-seven percent of baseball athletes successfully returned to play at an average of 6.6 months after diagnosis. Athletes treated operatively required significantly more time to return to play than those managed nonoperatively (8.7 vs 3.6 months, respectively; P<.0001).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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