Child Orthopedics

Frequently Asked Questions

I've been volunteering as an athletic trainer for Little League teams for the past 10 years. I notice the younger kids have problems with pain and soreness on the inside of the elbow. The older kids complain more of pain along the outside of the elbow. Why the difference?

Doctors from a clinic specializing in shoulder and elbow problems offer a guess on this one. In younger children, the medial epicondyle (boney bump on the inside of the elbow) isn't fully formed yet. There's a slight separation between the epicondyle and the main bone. This allows for bone to fill in as the child grows.

As the bone fuses together, the force of the load gets shifted to the outside of the bone. That's why older players have more symptoms of soreness around the lateral epicondyle (outside of the elbow).

David Wei Hang, et al. A Clinical and Roentgenographic Study of Little League Elbow. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. January/February 2004. Vol. 32. No. 1. Pp. 79-84.

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