This condition, also known as Little League elbow, is an injury to the medial epicondyle growth plate. It causes pain in the elbow and may cause swelling. This condition is most common in young baseball pitchers.
What are the symptoms of medial epicondyle apophysitis?
Pain on the inner side of the elbow occurs while throwing a ball. Athletes may also have swelling and difficulty extending the elbow and often say they are unable to throw the ball as fast or as accurately as they once did.
How is medial epicondyle apophysitis diagnosed?
Our doctors review the patient’s symptoms and pitching history and confirm the diagnosis with a physical examination. If the diagnosis is unclear or symptoms are severe, we may do an X-ray or MRI of the elbow.
What is the treatment for medial epicondyle apophysitis?
The most important step in the treatment of medial epicondyle apophysitis is to refrain from throwing for a few weeks and let the growth plate heal. Ice may help to reduce inflammation. Our doctors will likely recommend physical therapy to improve muscle strength and endurance, which may help to decrease the stress on the growth plate and reduce the risk of re-injury. We will also test the patient for core and hip/trunk stability to ensure the elbow is not taking on more stress due to a lack of stability elsewhere in the body.
During this initial period of rest from throwing, the patient may do activities and play other sports that do not stress the elbow. A return-to-throwing program also helps to slowly increase the forces and demands through the arm that are necessary for returning to full competitive play.