KidsMD Health Topics

Little League Shoulder in Children

  • Overview

    Little League shoulder happens when an athlete throws too often or repeatedly throws the wrong way and hurts his shoulder. In younger athletes, growth plates—soft places toward the end of the bone that cause it to grow—are prone to injury, and can get irritated with too much use. Usually, the arm may be tender and sore, and it will hurt to throw. 

    Most athletes with Little League shoulder need to stop throwing for a minimum of three months, and go through several months of physical therapy before fully returning to sports. 

    Little League shoulder can be prevented by making sure your child throws in a way that won’t hurt his arm, and by making sure he doesn’t throw more than is healthy for his age and physical development.

    How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches Little League shoulder

    At Boston Children’s Hospital, our doctors specialize not only in orthopedic care, but in pediatric orthopedic care.  Our clinical experts lead the country in research and care, and have the pediatric orthopedic expertise to treat the unique needs of children and young adults' musculoskeletal systems.

    Each year, our orthopedic team attends to more than 92,000 patient visits and performs over 6,000 surgeries. While assessing Little League shoulder, our doctors search for signs that change with age and maturity level and deliver the most precise diagnosis possible so children can get back to their lives.

    Little League shoulder: Reviewed by Benton Heyworth, MD

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