During this injury, the ligament attached to the inner side of the elbow begins to pull one of the growth plates away from the rest of the bone. Because the bones are still growing, the growth plates are weak and susceptible to injury. Certain types of throwing may lead to this condition, such as:
Throwing too hard and too often
Increasing the number of pitches per week too quickly
Throwing too many curves or sliders at a young age
Changing to a league where the pitcher's mound is farther away from home plate or the mound is elevated
These factors increase your chance of developing Little League elbow. Tell your doctor if you or your child have any of these risk factors:
Age: 10-15 years old
Sex: male (more boys than girls are baseball pitchers)
Baseball pitching, especially throwing curve balls or sliders
Pain around the bony knob on the inner side of the elbow
Pain when throwing overhand
Pain with gripping or carrying heavy objects (sometimes)
The doctor will ask about:
How the injury occurred
When the pain began
Any prior elbow injuries
The doctor will also:
Examine the elbow for signs of ligament or bone damage
Find the source of the pain
If needed, have an
done to look for damage to the bone
Treatment and recovery depend on the severity of the injury. Recovery time ranges from 6 weeks to 3 months.
Rest—Do not pitch or do activities that cause elbow pain. Do not play sports until the pain is gone.
Cold—Apply ice or a cold pack to the outside of the elbow. Do this for 15-20 minutes, four times a day, for several days. Wrap the ice or cold pack in a towel. Do not apply ice directly to your skin.
Little league baseball and the pitch count. The National Athletic Trainers' Association website. Available at:
Accessed July 22, 2008.
Don’t let injuries keep your child in the dugout. Orthopaedic surgeons provide tips to prevent youth baseball and softball injuries.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at:
Published April 2006. Accessed July 22, 2008.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a