Young athletes can experience “growing pains,” especially for those that strive to perform at the highest level. Little League shoulder, also called proximal humeral epiphyseolysis, is an inflammation of the growth plate on the upper humerus in young athletes. Dr. Steven Struhl is a top orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist who offers Little League shoulder treatment at his clinics in New York City and Westchester.
Causes and Symptoms of Little League Shoulder
Little League shoulder most commonly occurs in adolescents and teens 11-16 years of age that are active in overhead arm sports like baseball, tennis, volleyball or lacrosse. The growth plate at the top of the humerus, or upper arm bone, can become aggravated from the repetitive movement, causing inflammation. This shoulder condition becomes worse whenever a throwing or overhead arm movement is performed. The symptoms of Little League shoulder include:
- Aching pain in the affected shoulder
- Worsening pain when throwing or performing overhead movements
- Swelling around the shoulder joint
- Decreased mobility, accuracy and strength in shoulder movement
Little League shoulder can start slowly and progress as it becomes worse. Continuing use of the shoulder can lead to more pain and inflammation.
In most cases, conservative treatment can be effective for relieving pain and regaining movement. Rest for several weeks followed by physical therapy, designed to strengthen the shoulder, can restore function.
The first step to overcoming Little League shoulder is getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Dr. Steven Struhl is a dual board certified orthopedic and sports medicine surgeon who specializes in shoulder injuries. Dr. Struhl can perform a thorough exam to determine if Little League shoulder is causing your child’s shoulder pain. He can begin a treatment plan based on the outcome of the diagnosis.
To schedule your appointment at Shoulders & Knees to meet with Dr. Steven Struhl, contact our office in NYC or Westchester.