I broke my humerus while pitching

35 years old, pitching in a competitive mens league.

Had thrown about 30 innings or so on the year, no tenderness, soreness, my arm actually felt pretty good.

Threw a fastball and it caused a spiral fracture of the humerus. It was very Tony Saunders and Dave Dravecky’ish.

Went to the doctor…I had no previous signs of any injury. They’ve checked for any sort of pathological issues and haven’t found any. They did a bone density test and all was well.

I just got the cast off and am in a sling. The bone seems to be healing nicely. I didn’t have to have surgery and put any screws or plates in my arm.

So, my questions…

  1. Does anyone know of any other people that have went through this injury that would be willing to talk to me? I’ve been able to find one individual but I’d like to talk to a few more. While it is rare, it happens more than I had expected when I first started doing my research. I’d like to get to know of their rehab experiences, how well they could throw again, etc. And kind of like a support group…it was kind of scary. :slight_smile:

  2. I’m in St. Louis, but location doesn’t matter at this point. Do any of you know any doctors that have a lot of experience with this injury due to throwing? My doctor is very good and he’s doing a great job but I’d really like to eventually work with someone who has specialized in a few of these cases. Additionally, anybody that has experience with this kind of rehab, physical therapy, biomechanic changes, etc.

Thanks so much in advance for your thoughts.


P.S. Typing left handed is hard. :smiley:

Wow! :shock:

I can’t help you out but I sure wish you luck.

Well, I didn’t break my humerus, but I did have Tommy John’s September of ‘06. I can talk you through the rehab if you want. I’m sure it’s very similar, since mostly all the throwing arm rehabs are the same. I’m actually still doing physical therapy. I also went and saw Tom House and did the biomechanical evaluation. Athletes’ Performance in Florida also does biomechanical evaluations. (They have the same equipment House uses. I’m pretty sure they learned about it through House.)

Let me know what ya think. I’ve got 2 years worth of physical therapy/rehab experience, so if you need to talk I’m around.

  • Jake

jake, thanks for the reply…I definitely would like to get in touch. If you don’t mind, could you PM me with your number?

How did the biomechanical evaluation go? Did you find it useful?

Hey Joe, I was a pitcher in Australia who had played since I was 4 years old and did exactly the same injury as you in 2005, I had never had any injuries prior in over 20 years of baseball. Unlike you, I did have some soreness in my arm prior to the injury, but nothing particularly unusual. From what I can tell it’s a relatively unusual injury, but seems to occur in arm wrestlers and pitchers from time to time.

I also had to have surgery and had 10 screws and a plate inserted. The surgery was very successful, but the break was particularly nasty and according to the surgeon, difficult to work on. Nearly four years on and my arm is completely healed, however I do have difficulty throwing, I still experience quite a bit of soreness around the area where the break occurred when I try to throw and have difficulty building up my tricep where they made the incision for the surgery. I have retired as a pitcher (obviously), but still do like to play at the pivots or first base. So the injury doesn’t necessarily mean the end of baseball.

My only advice would be to see a physiotherapist or sports rehab specialist as soon as possible after the injury occurs, the longer you leave your rehab the more frustrated you will become with your arm. Also make sure you do your rehab correctly, you’ll never return to playing successfully if you try to do it off you own back, so seek advice from a physio and don’t lose heart. It will hurt as you try to recover the arm, but that’s the normal response to your arm learning to weight bear again.

Good luck.

Well I know both Carl Pavano and Cole Hamels have broke their pitching humerus’s, Pavano while pitching I believe. So if your worried, there is proof that you can come back from it and excel.

Dr. Lehman in Kirkwood is the best around. He works with a lot of Cardinals players and he was, maybe still is, the Blues team doctor. He did the surgery on Jackie-Joyner Kersey and works with lots of other world-class athletes.

the best in the business is dr james andrews in birmingham alabama. he is considered the man. you can find his clininc on the web. if my guy has any serious arm problems we will pack the bags and head that way.

I have almost the exact same story joe27. Just broke my humerus while pitching in an offseason, men’s league game. I’m 34 and never had any problems. Left handed typing sucks, still care to chat? I know this thread is very old.

Well Travis, I’m 62 and snapped my humerus about 7 weeks ago. Hadn’t thrown much in about 10 yrs, but threw ~30 innings this year between May-Aug. Last game of the season, bottom 5th, 2 outs, wasting a fastball and …SNAP! No warning, and already thrown a 9 inning complete game a few weeks before. Doubt I’ll be pitching much more, but I’d like to still play ball, golf, lift weights, swim, etc. Did you regain full function? I realize this thread is old, hope someone sees it.

Wow this is old. But I got an email about it :slight_smile:

So I posted this initially right after I broke my arm and I was back playing ball about 8 months afterwards. At first it was a little tender but I regained full strength of my arm. I stopped pitching mainly from the stigma of breaking my arm but had some really good games at SS.

I still have the plate in my arm, and my doctor said if I wanted to have it removed that I should do so within a year or two post-surgery. I consulted him once about this but he said it really didn’t seem necessary unless it was bothering me (which it isn’t). So I still have the plate in my arm which I don’t even notice.

Best of luck in your recovery! I will say that physical therapy was absolutely necessary to get the atrophied arm muscles stretched out again.

Thanks for the reply Travis, really appreciate the encouragement. Amazing this thread has been up for so many years.

My 8 week update was positive. It was a nasty spiral fracture but the bones were enough aligned that surgery was avoided, but it may take a few extra weeks for new bone to fill the gap and the xrays show this happening. Starting very light pt this week to regain flexibility in elbow and shoulder. At this age I feel no need to pitch again, I’m nearing retirement and need use of my arm to do all the other things I enjoy. Maybe I’ll DH this season, but probably focus more on golf and regaining strength.

Cheers from Atlanta - Go Braves !

My 15 year old son just suffered the same injury while pitching. It was a very difficult thing to watch. The pain alone seemed to be horrific. It makes me angry considering my sons coach had just made a trip to the mound just before the pitch that broke it. My son told him that his arm was hurting and the response from his coach was, “I was hoping you could finish the inning.


“My 15 year old son just suffered the same injury while pitching.”

Fractures of the Humerus are caused by the same gateway mechanic that causes the later pathomechanic of “Forearm bounce” that violently attains outwards rotational full length by being late in outwards rotation of the Humerus that also over stresses the UCL and overlying Flexor tendons.

“It was a very difficult thing to watch.”

Spiral fractures are the worst, most from this mechanic are Spirals.

“ It makes me angry considering my sons coach had just made a trip to the mound just before the pitch that broke it. “

Don’t blame that coach alone! It’s been the failure of all of baseball to care enough to make the mitigative difference that is available. He is just everybody else and that injury is accumulative that would have happened any time. You could have just blamed yourself as much for the same reasons.

“My son told him that his arm was hurting”

Did you teach your son from the get go, if he feels his arm barking to immediately remove himself?

“the response from his coach was” “I was hoping you could finish the inning.””

How would you expect a coach to know this physiology when it’s not expected? There are more UCL surgeries than broken arms from this, I think?

Maybe, law suits are in order to see an actual improvement?

I’m really sorry to hear this, only 15 years old. Wouldn’t blame the coach too much, I’ve been around amateur baseball most of my life and had never seen or heard of this kind of injury (but at my age I was asking for it). The good news is, at 8 months down the road, I’m back playing golf, lifting weights, and have most of the flexibility back in my shoulder and elbow. Wishing the best for your son.