Knee Ligament Injuries, Baseball Injuries

Knee injuries are common in baseball. Knee ligament injuries can occur in baseball from sudden twisting or pivoting.

Injuries in baseball occur with more playing time which is why we see more injuries in professional ball players toward the mid and end of the season. Knee ligament injuries do occur earlier in the season, but are more likely when the leg is fatigued.

Preconditioning in the off-season and staying in shape during the season will help prevent injuries. This of course includes stretching the quads and hamstring muscles.

How do I know if I have a knee ligament injury?

If you twist your knee and hear a “pop” it is likely to be a torn ACL.

Unfortunately, this is an all too common injury in professional and non-professional ball players. If the knee swells within the first few hours of hearing the pop it is even more likely to be an ACL tear as the torn ligament bleeds into the knee.

Almost all athletes with a complete tear of the ACL will need reconstructive surgery. Older people who don’t do pivoting sports may not need the surgery.

Tears of this ligament is best diagnosed by a knee specialist on physical exam and can be confirmed on MRI. I have seen many patients misdiagnosed with tears when they did not have a tear.

I have also seen a lot of patients who had tears that were missed by their doctor.

Those of us who examine hundreds and thousands of athlete’s knees annually, can correctly diagnose and treat these torn ligaments.

What other knee ligament injuries are possible?

Another common injury in baseball players is a torn MCL or medial collateral ligament. Unlike the ACL, even when this is completely torn it will heal without surgery. This may require bracing if it is a complete tear and several weeks of no pivoting activity.

If it is a partial tear, my ball players can usually get back to sports in about 2 weeks. As with any other injury, ice right away.

IF it is not better or pain is severe see you orthopedic sports specialist. It is important to make sure there is not a fracture and this should be done with an x-ray. If you knee is unstable, do not play through it as you may be causing more damage and will require more extensive surgery.

In my practice we can almost see patients the same day and that is especially important for athletes who want to get back to sports ASAP.

Dr. Rick Weinstein, MD, MBA is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. He is the Director of Orthopedic Surgery at Westchester Sport and Spine and has subspecialty training in knee and shoulder surgery, including minimally invasive surgery and arthroscopy. Dr. Weinstein is a Board Examiner for the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons, determining certification for other orthopedic surgeons.