Journal List > Korean J Sports Med > v.34(1) > 1054574

Korean J Sports Med. 2016 Jun;34(1):28-35. Korean.
Published online June 07, 2016.
Copyright © 2016 The Korean Society of Sports Medicine
Sonoelastography on Supraspinatus Muscle-Tendon and Long Head of Biceps Tendon in Korean Professional Baseball Pitchers
Joo Han Oh,1 Joon Yub Kim,2 Do Hoon Kim,3 Yong Il Kim,4 and Jae Ho Cho2
1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea.
2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Myongji Hospital, Seonam University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea.
3Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nalgae Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
4LG Twins Professional Baseball Club, Seoul, Korea.

Correspondence: Joon Yub Kim. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Myongji Hospital, Seonam University College of Medicine, 55 Hwasu-ro 14 beon-gil, Deokyang-gu, Goyang 10475, Korea. Tel: +82-31-810-5114, Fax: +82-31-969-0500, Email:
Received March 02, 2016; Revised May 01, 2016; Accepted May 02, 2016.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the change of supraspinatus muscle and tendon as well as biceps tendon after pitching in Korean professional baseball league pitchers by the application of sonoelastography. A total of 10 pitchers from Korean professional league were evaluated their supraspinatus muscle and tendon and long head of biceps tendon of dominant arm by sonoelastography at all-star break period. After one month later, re-evaluations were performed after pitching in the game. The strain ratio of supraspinatus muscle and tendon (red portion, soft; blue portion, hard), thickness of supraspinatus and long head of biceps tendons were evaluated. For the correlation analysis with pitching, numbers of pitches, maximal velocity, maximal difference of velocity and ratio of breaking balls among pitches were investigated. The strain ratios of supraspinatus muscle, thickness of supraspinatus and long head of biceps tendon were decreased but not statistically significant. However, the strain ratio of red portion in supraspinatus tendon was significantly increased. There were no correlations between sonoelastograpic findings and pitches.

Keywords: Baseball; Supraspinatus; Biceps; Sonoelastography


Fig. 1
The subject was on chair with his dominant arm at side during the examination.
Click for larger image

Fig. 2
Measurement of strain ratio of supraspinatus muscle. Reference box (rectangle box) was located at the subcutaneous fat layer (closed arrow) and the same size of target boxes were located at red portion of supraspinatus muscle (closed arrow with dashed line) and blue portion of supraspinatus muscle (open arrow).
Click for larger image

Fig. 3
Measurement of strain ratio of supraspinatus tendon (A), thickness of suprasinatus tendon (B) and biceps long head tendon (C). As in the manners with the measurement of strain ratio in supraspinatus muscle, reference box was located at subcutaneous fat layer (closed arrow), and target boxes were located at red (closed arrow with dashed line) and blue portion of supraspinatus tendon (open arrow) (A). The thickness of supraspinatus tendon (yellow dashed line) was measured with highest thickness at superior facet of greater tuberosity (B) and thickness of biceps long head tendon (yellow dashed line) was measured in the long axis view (C).
Click for larger image

Fig. 4
The change of strain ratio after pitching compared to all-star break period at red and blue portion of supraspinatus muscle and tendon. SS: supraspinatus.
Click for larger image

Fig. 5
The change of thickness of supraspinatus tendon and biceps long head tendon after pitching compared to all-star break period. SS: supraspinatus, Bc: biceps brachii.
Click for larger image


Table 1
Demographic characteristics of pitchers and basic data of the study
Click for larger image

Table 2
Comparisons between strain ratios of supraspinatus muscle and tendon at red and blue portion at all-star break and after pitching
Click for larger image


This study was supported by the Korean Orthopedic Ultrasound Society and Alpinion Medical Systems.

Conflict of Interest:No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


We thank to rest of field doctors of LG twins team 2016 Jae Yoon Chung, Se Kwan Oh, Byung Wook Song, Yeun Ho Kim, Yong Gon Na, Jeong Dong Lee) and LG twins athletic trainers (Hak Rim Cho, Se Hoon Oh, Yohan Bae, Yong Wan An, Jong Gon Park, Bon hak Koo, Yeob Kwon Lee) for the assistance to complete this study.

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