Medial Epicondyle Apophysitis (Little League Elbow)

What Is Little League Elbow (Medial Epicondyle Apophysitis)?

Actions such as repeated overhand throwing can cause tiny fractures of the cartilage where the elbow is growing. The result is irritation and pain that develops on the inner (medial) part of the elbow. A similar condition happens in the knee, called Osgood-Schlatter disease.
An injury that occurs in adult athletes from repetitive throwing involves stress on the ulnar collateral ligament that is sometimes treated with “Tommy John surgery.”

What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

Medial epicondyle apophysitis typically starts with a gradual onset of pain associated with hard throwing and similar activity. At first, the pain shows up only by throwing, but if it persists, normal daily motion and elbow use can be painful. Other times, there may be a “pop” heard and felt during a hard throw. There may be numbness, tingling or weakness of the forearm, wrist and hand.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis is primarily made based on your child’s health history and a physical exam. The inside of the elbow is tender and painful in certain positions. Occasionally there may be swelling. X-rays may be ordered, and advanced imaging such as an MRI may help find the condition.

How to Treat

Ice and anti-inflammatories often help reduce inflammation and pain. Typically, your child will need to stop throwing for six weeks. After that, a specially trained physical therapist (not a pitching coach) will oversee a progressive throwing program. They work on proper throwing mechanics with the arm and highlight core and leg strengthening, as these help with throwing strength and endurance. Your child is allowed to return to practices and games when the pain is gone.

Our Team

Jennifer M. Brey, M.D.
Laura K. Jacks, M.D.
Joshua W. Meier, M.D.
James E. Moyer, M.D.
Star L. Nixon, M.D.

Orthopedics – 5678

Contact Us

Connect with Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville.

(502) 394-5678

How to prevent Little League shoulder

While an abbreviated major league season is just getting underway, much younger pitchers and catchers have been playing at baseball fields across the U.S. As baseball is one of the youth sports where it is […]

Read Full Story

How to prevent firework hand injuries

It’s fun to play with fireworks — until it’s not. Emergency departments across the country see an increase in burns and hand injuries around the  July Fourth holiday. Charity S. Burke, M.D., hand surgeon with […]

Read Full Story

What is Little League elbow?

Spring is officially here — and that means young pitchers and catchers are reporting to baseball fields all across Louisville and Southern Indiana. Youth baseball is a fun and healthy spring and summer sport for […]

Read Full Story

Brachial plexus injuries most common in newborns

When many people think of shoulder issues, a professional athlete often comes to mind. But every year, thousands of babies in the U.S. are born with a brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus is a […]

Read Full Story

Pitching injuries could be prevented with these tips

Being a sport parent is tough. You want the best for your kid. You want to push them (gently) when they need it but also want them to have fun during their athletic endeavors. And […]

Read Full Story
Related Stories

How to prevent Little League shoulder

While an abbreviated major league season is just getting underway, much younger pitchers and catchers have been playing at baseball fields across the U.S. As baseball is one of the youth sports where it is […]

Read Full Story

How to prevent firework hand injuries

It’s fun to play with fireworks — until it’s not. Emergency departments across the country see an increase in burns and hand injuries around the  July Fourth holiday. Charity S. Burke, M.D., hand surgeon with […]

Read Full Story

What is Little League elbow?

Spring is officially here — and that means young pitchers and catchers are reporting to baseball fields all across Louisville and Southern Indiana. Youth baseball is a fun and healthy spring and summer sport for […]

Read Full Story

Brachial plexus injuries most common in newborns

When many people think of shoulder issues, a professional athlete often comes to mind. But every year, thousands of babies in the U.S. are born with a brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus is a […]

Read Full Story

Pitching injuries could be prevented with these tips

Being a sport parent is tough. You want the best for your kid. You want to push them (gently) when they need it but also want them to have fun during their athletic endeavors. And […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.