Little League Shoulder
By Nathan Richardson, MD, a leading orthopedic surgeon at Bingham Memorial’s Orthopedic Institute
July 8th, 2016-If a young athlete in your family—particularly a baseball pitcher or catcher or even a tennis player—has been complaining of shoulder pain or pain between their shoulder and elbow, they might be suffering from a condition called Little League shoulder (LLS).
LLS injuries are on the rise and typically occur from overuse and repetitive rotational stress to the growth plates of the humerus—the long upper arm bone that connects the shoulder to the elbow. The growth plate is located on the upper arm bone near the shoulder, and when that area becomes inflamed or irritated, it could mean that the athlete has Little League shoulder.
Causes of Little League Shoulder
Researchers worked with 95 patients with LLS who ranged in age from eight to 17 years old. Ninety-seven percent of those affected were baseball players and, of those, 86 percent were pitchers. (It should also be noted that the only other sport that produced this problem was tennis.)
Further examination revealed that 30 percent of those affected had a condition called GIRD that produces a loss of rotational range of motion. Athletes with GIRD were three times more likely to have reoccurring shoulder pain after returning to play.
Treating Little League Shoulder
Due to the frequent nature of young throwing athletes who develop overuse injuries in their developing bones, Little League Baseball has established guidelines to protect the players. Adherence to these guidelines will help to protect pitchers from injury. However, if pain does arise in a young athlete, getting them evaluated sooner rather than later will help to prevent permanent changes in the growth plates of the shoulder. The appropriate rest from throwing will also help get them back to play sooner with a decreased risk of recurrence.
If your child is experiencing any or all of the symptoms of Little League shoulder, bring them in for an evaluation by one of the experts at the Orthopedic Institute. Our team of professionals will get them treated efficiently and accurately so they can get back in the game.
About Dr. Nathan Richardson
Learn more about the region’s largest orthopedic institute at: https://EastIdahoOrtho.com/
If you enjoyed this article, you may like our other articles: