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Phoenix Orthopedic Surgeon Helps Treat, Prevent Common Elbow Injuries in Baseball Players

Young athletes are working harder to reach their goals and the harder an athlete plays and practices, the easier it is to develop elbow problems early in their athletic career.

The leading orthopedic surgeons with OrthoArizona – Arizona Orthopaedic Associates, including Phoenix orthopedic surgeon Dr. Shelden Martin, are here to help athletes young or old prevent sports injuries and get back in the game.

The most common elbow injury in young baseball players is medial epicondyle apophysitis, which is known as “little league elbow.” This is an overuse injury to one of the growth plates on the inside of the elbow. Injuring the growth plates, especially at a young age may prevent them from throwing longer distances and decreases the ability to throw hard, according to Nationwide Children’s.

In order to help avoid injuries throughout the season, “It’s essential to get a pre-participation physical, wear appropriate equipment and perform essential offseason conditioning before beginning the season.  These simple steps will help ensure that these young athletes are ready with regards to their physical conditioning and safety preparedness,” Dr. Martin said.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, preventing athletic injuries at an early age will lead to a greater chance of athletes continuing to compete at higher levels of competition. While many injuries can be treated with ice and ibuprofen and will improve with rest, more serious injuries, if left untreated, can cause permanent impairment and compromise young athletes potential to continue playing sports at a higher level of competition.

The doctors at OrthoArizona – Arizona Orthopaedic Associates give patients the proper medical care and attention they need. With the excitement of the summer baseball season, young athletes, particularly pitchers, can overwork their elbow by throwing to many pitches and to frequently.  This does not allow the elbow to rest and recover and causes microtrauma that becomes additive over time.  This is particularly a problem in warm states such as Arizona, California and Florida where athletes can play year round, and never adequately rest their throwing arms.  The doctors at OrthoArizona – Arizona Orthopaedic Associates are here to treat and educate the athletes and help get them back on the field.

While staying active is important, resting is just as important. As discussed, the most common overuse elbow injury in skeletally immature athletes is medial epicondyle apophysitis.  This condition can also lead to stress fracture through the growth plate, or a small crack in the bone caused by fatigued muscles transferring the overload of stress to the bone.  As athletes reach skeletal maturity later in their teenage years and enter adulthood, this condition will manifest as an ulnar collateral ligament injury.  If rest and non-operative treatment fail, this condition can require a ligament reconstruction surgery commonly known as “Tommy Johns surgery” to continue throwing.

OrthoArizona – Arizona Orthopaedic Associates surgeons are all board-certified orthopedic surgeons with extensive training and experience with sports related injuries. Dr. Martin recommends for any athlete to start their season with a physical and seek medical help at the first sign of injury.

To schedule an appointment or consultation, please call (480) 750-0303.

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About OrthoArizona – Arizona Orthopaedic Associates
OrthoArizona – Arizona Orthopaedic Associates strives to improve the quality of life of its patients and their families through outstanding orthopedic care. OrthoArizona – Arizona Orthopaedic Associates is committed to excellence by pledging to provide the highest quality of orthopedic care possible. Along with the treatment of immediate or chronic problems, top-rated and board-certified orthopedic surgeons strive to integrate the doctrine of prevention in all treatment plans as a way to alleviate possible future difficulties.