When Your Little Leaguers Suffers From Elbow Pain
April 14, 2022
With the beginning of the spring baseball season now upon us, doctors are starting to see an increase in elbow problems in young baseball and softball players. Little Leaguer’s Elbow (Medial Apophysitis) is the most common injury that affects young athletes. This injury is usually caused by improper and repetitive throwing techniques that creates an excessively strong pull on the tendons and ligaments of the elbow causing it to become inflamed and irritated.
Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of Little Leaguer’s Elbow include pain on the inner side of the elbow when throwing a ball, accompanied by swelling and difficulty extending the elbow.
What are the long-term concerns?
If your child's condition isn't treated, they may have trouble using the elbow or shoulder in the future. Left untreated the condition can lead to lasting (permanent) damage of the growth plates.
Diagnosis & Treatment
If caught early enough and treated by your pediatric orthopaedic physician, Little Leaguers Elbow should heal completely and will not cause any permanent damage. Clinical diagnosis is made after a thorough physical examination and x-rays are performed. Younger children respond best to nonsurgical treatments. Children must take a break from all throwing for up to 3 months.
The key treatment of Little Leaguers Elbow is prevention. This responsibility involves parent’s, coaches and athletic trainers. Children should be taught at an early age proper throwing techniques. Monitoring the number of pitches or throws a child makes and the time frame within which they are made will also help protect your child from this injury. Evidence shows that with these preventive measures the chance of injury greatly decreases and the condition can be prevented.
It is important to take your child to a pediatric specialist, who are experts in treating only kids. At Children's Orthopaedic and Scoliosis Surgery Associates, LLP our board certified, fellowship trained, specialists provide the best child-friendly care using the latest cutting-edge technology that results in the safest and most accurate outcomes. If you suspect your child has Little Leaguer's Elbow, please call our office at (727) 898-2663.
Medically Reviewed by Drew E. Warnick, M.D., Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon
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