Research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Annual Meeting revealed new data that identifies associated risk factors, common treatment options, and return to play for Little League Shoulder (LLS).  The study examined 95 patients ranging from 8 to 17 years who were diagnosed with LLS. The research study examined cases of LLS from a single pediatric referral center between 1999 and 2013, and the research team analyzed sex, age, physical examination, radiologic findings, treatment approaches, and rates of occurrence.

According to the AOSSM news release, treatment options for players included rest in 98% of cases, physical therapy in 79%, and a position change in 25% after returning to play. The average time for returning to play was 4.2 months from injury diagnosis. The results of the study showed that of the 95 patients, 30% were identified with a reduced range of motion during the physical exam. In addition, these patients were three times more likely to experience an injury recurrence 6 to 12 months after returning to play.

Benton E. Heyworth, MD, says “Our study examined 95 patients ranging from 8-17 years old diagnosed with Little League Shoulder. Not surprisingly, we found 97% of the affected athletes were baseball players, with 50% of the patients being only 12 or 13 years old – a good indicator of the stress being put on young arms.”

Heyworth adds, “The data showed 13% of patients treated also reported elbow pain, 10% reported shoulder pain or weakness, and 8% reported other mechanical symptoms. These related symptoms should be recognized as possible identifiers for injured athletes in the future.”

Source: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine