Cumulative Incidence of Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Capitellum in Preadolescent Baseball Players


      To quantify the 1-year cumulative incidence of capitellar osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) in preadolescent baseball players and identify the risk factors associated with this condition.


      In total, 1,275 school-aged baseball players (aged 6-11 years) without an established diagnosis of capitellar OCD were enrolled in this longitudinal, observational study. One year later, all players underwent ultrasonographic examination of the throwing elbow on the playing field. Elbows with abnormal ultrasonographic findings at this time then underwent radiographic examination. Data for the groups with and without capitellar OCD were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression models.


      The 1-year cumulative incidence of capitellar OCD was 1.8% (95% confidence interval, 1.1%-2.7%). On multivariate analysis, players aged 10 to 11 years were 3.96 times more likely to have capitellar OCD (95% confidence interval, 1.10-18.97) than those aged 6 to 9 years; however, starting baseball at an earlier age, number of years played, training hours per week, player position, and history of elbow pain were not significantly associated with capitellar OCD. Only 34.8% of players with capitellar OCD reported elbow pain.


      The risk of OCD of the capitellum developing within a 1-year period in preadolescent baseball players was 1.8%. Players aged 10 to 11 years had a significantly greater risk of capitellar OCD development than those aged 6 to 9 years.

      Level of Evidence

      Level III, local nonrandom sample cohort.
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