Little League Elbow
Little League Elbow Specialist
Children involved in sports activities that require repetitive throwing such as baseball are at a higher risk of little league elbow, an overuse condition that occurs when there is overstress or injury to the inside portion of the elbow. Little league elbow specialist,Dr. Kelechi Okoroha provides diagnosis and individualized non-surgical and surgical management for little league elbow in Minneapolis. Contact Dr. Okoroha’s team for an appointment today!
What is a Little League Elbow?
Little league elbow, also called 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.
Causes of Little League Elbow
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 becomes inflamed, or in severe cases, it may break from the upper arm. One of the risk factors that causes this condition is misguided training regime.
When a little league elbow is suspected, it is important to schedule an orthopedic consultation for proper examination and care. Dr. Kelechi Okoroha is a little league elbow specialist who provides detailed examination and care for children with little league elbow in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Minnesota and beyond.
Symptoms of Little League Elbow
The most common symptoms include elbow pain, tenderness, swelling on the inner side of the elbow, restricted motion and locking of the elbow joint. Pain is increased upon pressing the inner side of the elbow.
Diagnosis of Little League Elbow
The diagnosis of the condition is based on a thorough physical examination of your child’s elbow performed by Dr. Okoroha. Further, Dr. Okoroha may also request for an X-ray, which shows a break in the growth plate.
Treatment Options for Little League Elbow
After careful review of your child’s history and examination, Dr. Okoroha will provide an individualized treatment plan to help your child return to normal function.
Immediately following an injury and before being evaluated by Dr. Okoroha, you should initiate the PRICE method of treatment.
- Protection: The purpose of protection is to avoid further injury. You can protect the injury by applying bandage, aluminum splint, protective tape or braces.
- Rest: Rest the elbow, as more damage could result from putting pressure on the injured area. If the injury is not treated it can lead to complications such as ligament tear, cartilage injury and growth disturbance.
- Ice: Applying ice packs to the injured area will help to diminish swelling and pain. Ice should be applied over a towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day for several days. Never place ice directly over the skin.
- Compression: Wrapping the elbow with an elastic bandage will help minimize the swelling and support the elbow.
- Elevation: Ensure that your child elevates the elbow above heart level as it will reduce swelling and pain.
The treatment options include non-surgical and surgical treatment. The conservative or non-surgical options include:
- Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will be prescribed to provide relief from pain and inflammation.
- After the pain has subsided, Okoroha may suggest initiation of a rehabilitation program which includes strengthening and stretching exercises to develop strength and muscle control.
Surgical treatment may be required in severe cases if there is a break in the bone. Surgery is performed in girls above 12 years and boys above 14 years. Surgical method involves the removal of loose fragments of bone, bone grafting and reattachment of the ligament back to the bone.
Some of the measures to prevent little leaguer’s elbow include reduction in the number of pitches a child throws. Before starting with the activity, your child should perform warm-up exercises.
If your child has experienced a little league elbow, please contact Dr. Kelechi Okoroha, orthopedic elbow specialist treating children in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Minnesota and beyond.