Analysis of Player Statistics in Major League Baseball Players Before and After Achilles Tendon Repair

Abstract

Background

No currently available literature evaluates the effect of Achilles tendon repair on professional baseball players in the Major League Baseball (MLB).

Questions/Purposes

The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of Achilles tendon rupture and repair on MLB players in terms of return to play and batting/fielding performance metrics.

Methods

Achilles tendon rupture data were retrospectively collected using information from the MLB disabled list, injury reports, MLB game summaries, player profiles, and publicly available news articles. Four pair-matched control MLB position players were selected for each of the players who underwent advanced analysis. Baseline characteristics were compared between injured players and controls using Fisher’s exact or Student’s t test.

Results

Overall, the incidence of Achilles tendon rupture reported in MLB has increased substantially since 1996. Rate of return to play in MLB after Achilles tendon rupture and repair is 62% for position players (non-pitchers) who suffer the injury. There was no association of injury with any player metric. Compared with injury to the non-power side, injury to the power side was associated with fewer plate appearances, fewer triples, an increase in percentage of at-bats with strikeouts, and decreased speed score.

Conclusion

The incidence of Achilles tendon rupture in MLB has increased substantially since 1996. While comparison suggests that overall Achilles tendon injury does not have an effect on MLB player statistics in the years following surgical repair, subset analysis of injury to the rear (power-generating) leg may lead to a decline in those statistics which denote a player’s speed and running ability.

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Correspondence to Bryan M. Saltzman MD.

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Conflict of Interest

Bryan M. Saltzman, MD receives personal fees from Nova Science Publishers and Postgraduate Institute for Medicine, outside the work. Bernard R. Bach, Jr., MD reports personal fees from SLACK Incorporated; other from Arthrex, Inc, CONMED Linvatec, DJ Orthopaedics, Ossur, Smith & Nephew, and Tornier; Board or committee member for American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, outside the work. Simon Lee, MD, reports personal fees from SLACK Incorporated, outside the work; and American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society: Committee member; Foot and Ankle International: Board Membership. Matthew W. Tetreault, MD, Daniel D. Bohl, MD, Danielle Tetreault, BS, have declared that they have no conflict of interest.

Human/Animal Rights

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008 (5).

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Informed consent was waived from all patients for being included in the study.

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Additional information

Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Study (Level III).

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Saltzman, B.M., Tetreault, M.W., Bohl, D.D. et al. Analysis of Player Statistics in Major League Baseball Players Before and After Achilles Tendon Repair. HSS Jrnl 13, 108–118 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11420-016-9540-6

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Keywords

  • Achilles tendon
  • baseball
  • Major League Baseball
  • performance