Written by Dr. David Geier, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
As participation in youth sports increases and younger children are playing a single sport year round, it is no wonder that more young athletes are being seen in doctors’ offices in this country. For throwing sports like baseball and overhead sports like swimming and tennis, shoulder pain is a common complaint.
Little League Shoulder (LLS) is an overuse injury to the proximal humerus (upper arm) originally described in young baseball players. In a presentation at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting*, researchers from Children’s Hospital Boston, Division of Sports Medicine presented the findings from cases of Little League Shoulder seen at their center between 1999 and 2013. They analyzed patients from that 15-year period to better understand the demographics, symptoms, risk factors and treatment outcomes of LLS.
Of the 95 cases of Little League Shoulder, 93 of the patients (98%) were male, with an average age of 13.1 years. The ages of the patients ranged from 8 to 16 years old.
97% of the LLS patients were baseball players, and 86% of those were pitchers. 3% of the LLS patients were tennis players.