Long-Term Sports Participation and Satisfaction After UCL Reconstruction in Amateur Baseball Players

Robert A. Jack, Somnath Rao, Taylor D’Amore, Donald P. Willier, Robert Gallivan, Steven B. Cohen, Christopher C. Dodson, Michael G. Ciccotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 <25 years at a minimum of 5 years postoperatively. Patients were assessed with the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic Shoulder and Elbow Score (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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2021


  • baseball
  • nonprofessional athletes
  • patient satisfaction
  • Tommy John
  • ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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