Little league elbow also called as medial apophysitis, is an overuse condition that occurs when there is overstress or injury to the inside portion of the elbow. It is commonly seen in children involved in sports activities that require repetitive throwing such as baseball.
Children make use of the elbow joint repetitively to throw the baseball which creates stress on the muscles and ligaments that are attached to the inner side of the elbow. The growth plate present at the bone ends become inflamed or in severe case it may break from the upper arm. One of the risk factor which causes this disease is misguided training regime.
The most common symptoms include elbow pain, tenderness, swelling on the inner side of the elbow, restricted motion, and locking of elbow joint. Pain is increased upon pressing the inner side of the elbow.
Your doctor will perform physical examination of your child's elbow. Further your doctor may also request for an X-ray which shows the break in the growth plate.
Immediately following an injury and before being evaluated by a doctor, you should initiate the PRICE method of treatment.
The treatment options include non-surgical and surgical treatment. The conservative or the non-surgical options include
Surgical treatment may be required in severe cases if there is a break in the bone. Surgery is done in girls above 12 years and boys above 14 years. Surgical method involves removal of loose fragments of the bone, bone grafting, and reattachment of ligament back to the bone.
Some of the measures to prevent little leaguer's elbow include reduction in number of pitches a child throws. Before starting with the activity, your child should perform warm up exercises.