LITTLE LEAGUER'S SHOULDER                                KANDILNOTES                                                                               


  • Little leaguer’s shoulder is an overuse injury to the growth plate of the shoulder bone

  • This usually affects growing children and adolescents who participate in sports that involve repetitive ball throwing such as baseball pitching

  • It is more common in males than females

  • Ignoring little leaguer’s shoulder can lead to premature growth plate closure, resulting in deformity and shortening of the arm


  • Repetitive distraction and torsional forces on the growth plate of the shoulder bone (proximal humerus)


  • Pain and tenderness in the outer (lateral) part of the shoulder 

  • Worse with activity, better with rest

  • Characterized by decreased pitch velocity (speed) and pitch accuracy


  • Little leaguer’s shoulder is an overuse problem and the treatment is to decrease use

  • Stopping pitching to allow the growth plate to rest is the first and most important step in the treatment process. This can last 2 to 3 months or until symptoms are completely resolved

  • This is followed by physical therapy to strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder

  • Finally, a pitching program needs to be instituted to progressively increase the speed and number of throws within a reasonable limit


  • The best way to prevent little leaguer’s shoulder is to work on proper pitching mechanics, enforcing pitch counts, and avoiding year-round pitching

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