Little League Shoulder
Little League Shoulder, also known as proximal humeral epiphyseolysis, is a term used for pain at the upper arm growth plate in the young throwing athlete. Little League Shoulder is caused by repetitive force across the growth plate (or physis) in the upper arm causing it to become irritated and sometimes widen. It most commonly affects adolescents from the age of 11-16 years old. It is typically seen with baseball players, hence the name, but also may occur in other athletes that do repetitive overhead motion (volleyball, lacrosse, tennis, etc.)
An athlete typically feels pain in the upper part of the arm bone (humerus) that worsens with throwing. The athlete may also notice swelling, a longer recovery time between events and worsening performance on the mound/field. An evaluation by a Sports Medicine physician can help to identify this problem. Diagnosis is by history of pain with throwing, an excessive throwing schedule, physical exam and sometimes x-rays.