A new study shows that youth baseball players are prone to elbow pain and injuries, especially those who have not yet reached skeletal maturity.
Skeletally immature children have growth plates, which are weaker than surrounding bones and prone to injury.
MRI scans revealed that skeletally immature players were more likely to have fluid build-up around the joint, stress injuries near the growth plate, fractures, and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) lesions.
Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a joint disorder in which a segment of bone and cartilage starts to separate from the rest of the bone after repeated stress or trauma. The fragment may stay in place or fall into the joint space.
Skeletally mature players, on the other hand, were more likely to have triceps tendinosis and fluid build-up in the bony area where the ulnar collateral ligament attaches.
The researchers hope that their findings will help to identify and treat elbow injuries in youth baseball players more effectively.