Rates of 'Little League Shoulder' Increasing
(HealthDay News) — "Little league shoulder" (LLS) is being diagnosed with increasing frequency, predominantly in male baseball pitchers, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, held from July 10–13 in Seattle.
Benton E. Heyworth, MD, from Children's Hospital Boston, and colleagues queried a departmental database at a single pediatric referral center to identify cases of LLS between 1999–2013. Cases were reviewed to analyze age, sex, physical examination and radiologic findings, treatment details, and rates of recurrence.
The researchers found that 95 patients (93 males; mean age, 13.1 years; 97% baseball players) were diagnosed with LLS. Volumes increased over the study period. While the primary complaint was shoulder pain with overhead athletics, 13% also reported elbow pain, 10% reported shoulder fatigue or weakness, and 8% reported mechanical symptoms. Nearly one-third (30%) were found to have glenohumeral internal rotation deficit (GIRD) upon physical examination, with treatment recommendations consisting of rest (98%) and physical therapy (79%; 100% of patients with GIRD). Resolution of symptoms occurred in an average of 2.6 months. Recurrence occurred three times more often in those diagnosed with GIRD.
"After rest and physical therapy, recurrent symptoms can occur, generally 6–12 months after return to sports," the authors write.