Little Leaguer’s Elbow
Don’t let stressed muscles sideline your favorite youth baseball player. Young athletes who throw too much may develop Little Leaguer’s Elbow (LLE), or Medial Apophysitis.
LLE is most common in pitchers, but may also affect catchers, infielders and outfielders. This condition affects the muscles that help to bend the wrist. The pain is located in muscles that are on the side of the elbow that is closest to the body.
In a child, the bones grow from areas called growth plates. There is a growth plate at the medial epicondyle, called the medial apophysis. In LLE, this growth plate is irritated or inflamed.
How does Little Leaguer’s Elbow occur?
Little Leaguer’s elbow is caused by too much throwing. This puts stress on the muscles that bend the wrist where they attach to the inner side of the elbow. The growth plate becomes inflamed. In a few, severe cases, the growth plate may actually break away from the upper arm. If your athlete’s injury seems severe, seek immediate medical attention.
- Pain at the inner side of the elbow, typically a sharp, throbbing, or aching pain
- Swelling and tenderness at the curve of the arm
- Rest! The most important treatment is not to throw if the growth plate is inflamed.
- Place an ice pack on the elbow for 20 to 30 minutes every three to four hours for two to three days or until the pain goes away.
- Your healthcare provider may give your child an anti-inflammatory medicine.
- If there is a break in the bone, seek immediate medical attention. Be aware, the physician may decide that surgery is needed to mend the break.
- Your healthcare provider will give your child rehabilitation exercises.