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The motion of throwing requires the uses of the various tendons and ligaments in the elbow. For young athletes, whose bones are still growing, the tendons and ligaments can put stress on growth plates on the ends of the arm bones causing elbow injuries. In some cases, medial apophysitis can occur, also known as Little League elbow. Our orthopedic and sports injury specialists at DOCS Health offer Little League elbow treatment for young patients at our medical center in Los Angeles.

What Is Medial Apophysitis?

When the bones are still growing, the ends of the bones can have growth plates where the ligaments and tendons attach. The growth plates are made from cartilage and are more susceptible to damage. Medial apophysitis occurs when growth plates in the elbow joint are irritated by ongoing stress, usually from young athletes who pitch or throw. It is referred to as “Little League elbow” since it often affects young athlete pitchers, but it can occur in other sports as well. The symptoms include:

  • Pain in the inside of the elbow
  • Swelling inside the elbow
  • Difficulty extending the elbow
  • Increased pain when performing a throwing motion

Children from ages 9-14 who play baseball, softball or other throwing sports are the most likely to experience medial apophysitis. In most cases, Little League elbow treatment is non-surgical and conservative. Using rest, ice and retraining to improve throwing technique can help alleviate pain and improve elbow performance. However, in some cases, medial apophysitis can result in damage to the growth plate or bone and may need surgical repair. Once the bones are matured, usually in the teen years, surgery may be performed to repair damage caused by medial apophysitis.

If you have a child athlete who is experiencing ongoing elbow pain, they may be suffering from Little League elbow. To explore Little League elbow treatment options, contact us at DOCS Health. We can schedule an exam and consultation with one of our orthopedic sports injury specialists at our clinic in Los Angeles.