Little League Elbow
This injury happens when the ligament attached to the inner side of the elbow starts to pull one of the growth plates away from the rest of the bone. Growth plates are weak and easily injured when a child's bones are still growing. Certain types of throwing may lead to this problem, such as:
- Throwing too hard and too often
- Increasing the number of pitches per week too quickly
- Throwing too many curves or sliders at a young age
- Changing to a league where the pitcher's mound is farther away from home plate or the mound is raised
Problems may be:
- Pain around the bony knob on the inner side of the elbow
- Pain when throwing overhand
- Pain with gripping or carrying heavy objects
The goal of treatment is to ease pain and promote healing. Recovery time ranges from 6 weeks to 3 months.
- Supportive care, such as resting the elbow and using cold compresses to ease swelling
- Medicines to ease pain and swelling
- Physical therapy to promote strength, flexibility, and range of motion
Some children may need surgery. This is not common.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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