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Little Leaguer's Elbow (Medial Apophysitis) - Topic Overview

Little Leaguer's elbow occurs in young baseball players who throw the ball too hard or too often (for example, more than 80 times twice a week). The growing part of the elbow, called the growth center (physis), widens and enlarges a part of the elbow bone called the medial epicondyle of the humerus camera.gif. Muscles of the forearm that are used to throw the ball constantly pull on the medial epicondyle during throwing and pull the soft growth center apart. In severe cases, a young player may tear through the soft growth center and detach the medial epicondyle from the upper arm bone.

Symptoms include swelling and pain on the inside (medial) part of the elbow. Arm motion may be decreased because of pain.

Treatment for mild to moderate cases of Little Leaguer's elbow includes rest, coaching on the proper way to throw the ball, and physical therapy. Severe cases require surgical repair. Recovery may take 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the severity of the injury.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: February 18, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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