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Am J Sports Med. 2002 Jan-Feb;30(1):66-73.

Magnetic resonance imaging of the shoulder in asymptomatic professional baseball pitchers.

Author information

1
Sports Medicine Program, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the magnetic resonance imaging findings in both shoulders of asymptomatic professional baseball pitchers. Fourteen pitchers who were without significant prior injury underwent a blinded clinical assessment and magnetic resonance imaging of both shoulders. All images were interpreted by two experienced musculoskeletal radiologists. The appearance of the rotator cuff tendons was graded, with additional evaluation of the biceps, labrum, and osseous structures. Ten athletes were found to have stable shoulders and painless full range of motion. Clinically, four athletes had at least a 40 degrees loss in internal rotation as compared with the nonthrowing arm. There were no significant differences in magnetic resonance imaging findings of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons between the throwing and nonthrowing shoulders. The labrum was abnormal in 79% of the 28 shoulders. Enthesopathic changes of the posterior glenoid labrum were identified in the four pitchers who had loss of internal rotation. We conclude that unenhanced magnetic resonance imaging of the shoulder in asymptomatic high performance throwing athletes reveals abnormalities that may encompass a spectrum of "nonclinical" findings. These data can be useful in separating symptomatic pathologic findings from these variants. Enthesopathic changes of the posterior glenoid labrum in the throwing arm may represent an early Bennett-type lesion. The cause may be excessive traction on the posterior capsule during the pitching motion, with subclinical injury to this area.

PMID:
11798999
DOI:
10.1177/03635465020300012501
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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