Child Orthopedics

Frequently Asked Questions

My 14-year-old son has Little Leaguer's shoulder. Right now he's being treated with rest. It's been four weeks of rest without playing baseball and his symptoms are still the same. Will he have to have surgery?

Treatment with rest is usually needed for six to 12 weeks for Little Leaguer's shoulder. The athlete can be active so long as there are no symptoms. In some cases physical therapy is needed to regain range of motion and strength to prevent reinjury.

Surgery may be needed if pain persists or the athlete can't get back to his or her previous level of play. X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans are used to find fractures in anyone with continued pain. In such cases an operation may be needed.

Sometimes a fracture doesn't heal or the fracture site fills in with fibrous tissue instead of bone. It may be necessary to surgically hold the bone together with a plate, pin, or screw.

Matthew T. Sugalski, MD, et al. Avulsion Fracture of the Lesser Tuberosity in an Adolescent Baseball Pitcher: A Case Report. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. May/June 2004. Vol. 32. No. 3. Pp. 793-796.

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