Elbow injuries in the pediatric athlete are common. Elbow injuries result from macrotrauma or microtrauma. Examples of macrotrauma include elbow dislocations and medial epicondyle fractures. Examples of microtrauma or repetitive overuse injuries include medial epicondyle apophysitis and osteochondritis dissecans of the capitellum. Elbow injuries occur in patterns unique to the skeletally immature patient. For example, lateral sided disorders of the elbow such as Panner's disease and osteochondritis dissecans of the capitellum result from compressive forces on the elbow whereas medial-sided elbow injuries, including medial epicondyle apophysitis, medial epicondyle avulsion fracture, and ulnar collateral ligament tears, result from tension forces on the elbow. Excessive baseball throwing causes many microtrauma overuse elbow injuries. In addition, the trend for young throwing athletes to train year round in only one sport also increases the risk of overuse injury. Prompt recognition and treatment of elbow injuries in the young athlete is key to prevent potential long-term disability and deformity. Unfortunately, in some cases, surgical treatment of elbow injuries in the young athlete is only palliative.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine