From the Desk of Bess Fley: Little League Shoulder
Spending the day at the ballpark might be a dream come true for all the aspiring ‘Babe Ruth’s and ‘Jackie Robinson’s, and for all their enthusiasm and energy, it might seem like a win-win situation to let them practice and play all day and come home tired. However, did you know that there’s a very common, yet preventable injury that children are at risk for when they repeat the pitching motion frequently? Learn more about Proximal Humeral Epiphysitis (Little League Shoulder) in the pediatric patient below!
What is Little League Shoulder?
Proximal Humeral Epiphysitis – aka ‘Little League Shoulder’ – is a common overuse injury in the pediatric population that occurs when the growth plate of the shoulder becomes inflamed and widens. This condition’s symptoms are most commonly the complaint of pain in the front part of the shoulder and develops in children’s cases more due to the fact that they have increased plasticity of their bones, open growth plates, and less muscle mass.
Typically, with 4-6 weeks of rest and NSAIDs, patients can return to baseball, softball, or their other sports pain-free if the injury is solely Proximal Humeral Epiphysitis. While the growth plate will appear widened on x-ray, MRI would be able to tell if there was a more extensive injury, such as a fracture, but the treatment is mostly the same.
In order to prevent this from happening, becoming a master of the fundamentals is important before adding in more complex pitches. Pitch counts at every practice and game are also an important to track in order to help prevent this injury.
An easy way to do this accurately is to:
1. Keep an App
Our favorite is called Pitch X-Pitch Counter, which can be downloaded and tracks data long-term with the option to add up to 3 players for free before a one-time purchase for unlimited players.
2. Keep Track Manually,
There are also handheld options available if you don’t want to keep your phone in hand as you count, such as these low-cost options on Amazon.
If you or someone you love has suffered a Little League Shoulder injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, Orthopaedic Specialists, PLLC can help! Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.