Also commonly called "little league shoulders" or "little leaguers shoulder", proximal humeral epiphysitis (PHE) refers to a painful shoulder injury of a throwing athlete who is still maturing physically.
Although the injury is most commonly seen in young baseball players, the injury can occur in any child participating in repetitive overhead throwing activities such as
With an increased participation and sports specialization at a very early age, shoulder and elbow injuries in young athletes are common. In fact, almost 10% of shoulder pain in pediatric patients can be attributed to athletic activities, such as throwing, and of these injuries, 26% are related to overuse and are preventable.
As movement experts, our senior physical therapists are uniquely qualified to
With PHE, an athlete may experience:
A sports medicine or orthopedic physician makes a proper diagnosis of PHE by conducting a complete physical exam of the entire shoulder complex. X-rays of the athlete’s shoulder will show the widening of the growth plate. If conventional x-rays are negative, a physician might elect to order additional imaging studies, including an MRI.
If a child sees our senior physiotherapists first, we will ask:
We will take this information and conducts a thorough physical exam to determine the root cause of the problem. We then
The conditions caused by PHE, such as muscle weakness or lack of endurance, lack of range of motion, or poor throwing mechanics can all be addressed with shoulder physiotherapy.
We will work with the young athlete to:
We will work with the athlete to develop an individualized treatment plan based on the initial evaluation and goals.