Little Leaguer's elbow occurs in young baseball players who throw the ball too hard or too often (for example, more than 80 times twice a week). The growing part of the elbow, called the growth centre (physis), widens and enlarges a part of the elbow bone called the medial epicondyle of the humerus. Muscles of the forearm that are used to throw the ball constantly pull on the medial epicondyle during throwing and pull the soft growth centre apart. In severe cases, a young player may tear through the soft growth centre and detach the medial epicondyle from the upper arm bone.
Symptoms include swelling and pain on the inside (medial) part of the elbow. Arm motion may be decreased because of pain.
Treatment for mild to moderate cases of Little Leaguer's elbow includes rest, coaching on the proper way to throw the ball, and physiotherapy. Severe cases require surgical repair. Recovery may take 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the severity of the injury.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as ofMarch 21, 2017
Current as of: March 21, 2017
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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