Throwing Injuries In Children

children baseball throwing injury Little Leaguer Youth Pitcher Elbow

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

In baseball, especially at the beginning of the season, there is an increase in elbow problems amoung young players. The most common elbow problem is the medial apophysitis named « Little Leaguer or Youth Pitcher Elbow ».

The elbow joint is composed of 3 bones : upper arm bone (humerus) and 2 bones in the forearms (radius and ulna). Muscles, ligaments and tendons keep the elbow joints together.

Little Leaguer Elbow

little leaguer Youth Pitcher Elbow humerus ulna radius medial apophysis epicondyle

This injury occurs when repetitive throwing creates an extremely strong pull on the tendons and ligaments of the elbow. The pain felt to prominence inside the elbow.

« Pitcher’s elbow » can become serious if the case gets worse. Repeated pull can tear ligaments and tendons of the bones. The tear can take tiny pieces of bone like when a plant takes piece of the soil when it uprooted. This can destabilize bone growth, which can create a deformity.

Symptoms

« Pitcher’s elbow » can cause pain in the elbow. If any of these symptoms occur, it’s recommended to stop the throws :

  • Elbow pain
  • Decreased movement amplitude
  • Locking or snagging in the elbow joint

Treatment

Elbow injuries by lanching movements can become complicated cases, if they’aren’t treated.

Non-surgical treatment

Younger children respond better to non-surgical treatment :

  • Stop throwing because continuing to do this can create major complications and may reduce a child’s ability to remain active in a throwing sport.
  • Use an ice bag to decrease swelling
  • If the pain continues after a few days of complete rest in the affected area or if the pain reoccurs when the throwing starts, stop the activity again until the child is treated.
  • Improve the technique of launched

Surgical treatment

Surgery is sometimes necessary for serious injuries, mainly for girls older than 12 years old and boys older than 14 years old.

Depending on the child’s injury, surgery may includes bone fragment removal, bone grafting or reattaching a ligament back to the bone.

Recovery time

The recovery time depends on the age of the athlete and the severity of the injury. If the injury detected early and the modification of the activity begins, there will be little time required for the athlete to start the sport again.

However, if the athlete continues to play despite the pain and other symptoms, it will take several months to heal the injury. Or it’s possible that the injury becomes permanent.

Prevent

The recommendation for a child to be safe is 15 for 8-10 years old, 100 for 11-12 years old and 125 for 13-14 years old. This involves training and competitions. To avoid pitching injury, young pitchers should play 3-4 inning each game.

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Shoulder Instability Or Dislocations

shoulder instability anatomy

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Shoulder is the most mobile joint of the body. This allows you to lift your arm, rotate your arm and lift your arm over your head. It’s possible to have a greater range of motion with less stability.

How

Shoulder instability

This happens when the humerus head (the upper arm bone) is forced out of the shoulder’s cavity. Usually this happens as a result of a sudden traumatic injury.

Once the shoulder is dislocated, the shoulder is vulnerable to repeat. When the shoulder is loose and slips several times, it’s called a chronic shoulder instability.

The shoulder is made of 3 bones : humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade) and clavicle (collarbone).

Dislocation shoulder

shoulder dislocation anatomy

This may be partial, which means that the arm’s ball partially comes out from the cavity. This is called a subluxation. This can be complete which means that the arm’s ball comes out completely from the cavity.

Symptoms

Symptoms of chronic shoulder instability are :

  • Pain caused by the shoulder injury

  • Repeated shoulder’s dislocation

  • Repeated instance of the shoulder giving out

  • A persistent sensation of the shoulder that is loose, slipping out of the joint or hanging.

Diagnosis

Specific tests help assess shoulder instability (including general relaxation of ligaments). A doctor may prescribe imaging tests such as X-rays, CT Scan or MRI to confirm the diagnosis and identify other problems.

Treatment

First, chronic shoulder instability treated with nonsurgical options. If these options don’t relieve pain and instability, surgery may be needed.

Nonsurgical treatment

shoulder dislocation treatment non surgical

Generally, it often takes several months of nonsurgical treatment before success can be assessed. Nonsurgical treatments includes :

  • Activity modification

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication

  • Physical therapy

Surgical treatment

shoulder dislocation treatment surgery bankart repair

Often, surgery is often required to repair torn or stretched ligaments so that they can maintain the shoulder joint in place.

Bankart lesions (tearing of the front labrum from the cavity) can be repaired surgically using suture anchors to reattach the ligaments to the bone.

Arthroscopy => Soft tissues of the shoulder can be repaired using tiny instruments and small incisions. It’s a procedure that is done the same day or outpatient. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery. The surgeon examines the inside of the shoulder with a small camera and performs the operation with special instruments.

Open surgery => These are patients who require open surgical intervention. This involves making a wider incision on the shoulder and performing the repair under direct visualization.

Rehabilitation

After surgery, the shoulder can be temporarily immobilized with a sling. When the sling is removed, it’s essential to do ligament rehabilitation exercises. These exercises improve the range of motion of the shoulder and avoid scarring during ligament healing. Thereafter, exercises for strengthening the shoulder will be added in the rehabilitation program.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Overuse Injuries

overuse injuries sport injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

There are 2 types of injuries : Acute injuries and overuse injuries. Acute injuries are usually caused by a single traumatic event. Here are some examples :

  • Wrist fractures

  • Ankle sprains

  • Shoulder dislocations

Acute injuries are less common in sport than overuse injuries. Overuse injuries are usually subtle and appear over time, making them difficult to diagnose and treat. Here is some example :

  • Tennis elbows

  • Swimmer’s shoulder

  • Pitcher’s elbow

  • Runner’s knee

  • Achilles tendinitis

  • Shin splints

Why

Human body is extraordinary to adapt to physical stress. We’re used of thinking that « stress » is bad for our emotional well-being, but physical stress is simply doing an exercise or activity. This is beneficial for our muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. This physical stress causes an internal process called remodeling. Remodeling process involves both the breakdown and the build up of tissue. It’s necessary to have a good balance between 2, if breakdown occurs more rapidly than buildup, an overuse injury occurs.

Causes

overuse injuries sport injury gym fail

Usually, it’s training errors that cause overuse injuries. These errors are too fast acceleration of intensity or duration or activity frequency. These injuries can also happen to people who return to the sport/activity after an injury. They try to make up for lost time as quickly as possible to reach the level they had before the injury. Doing an exercise with a good technique is important to avoid overuse injuries. When the exercise’s technique is bad, it creates overuse injuries. It’s for this reason that coaches, athletic trainers and teachers can play a preventive role so that athletes avoid overuse injures.

There are people who more easily have overuse injuries. An unbalance between strength and flexibility around certain joints predisposes some people to have this type of injury. Body alignment, such as knock-knees, bowlegs, unequal leg lengths and flat or high arched feet, also impact overuse injuries. There are also people who have weak links because of old wounds, incomplete rehabilitation of wounds or others anatomy factors.

Other factors must also be taken into account as equipment such as the type of running shoe or ballet shoe and terrain (hard versus soft surface in aerobic dance or running).

Diagnosis

Generally the diagnosis is based on the athlete’s history and physical examination. It’s recommended to make a diagnosis with a sports medicine specialist with a specific interest and knowledge of your sport. In some situations X-rays, bone scan and MRI may be necessary.

Treatment

overuse injuries sport injury ice

Here are some recommendations for treating an overuse injuries :

  • Cutting back the intensity, duration and frequency of an activity

  • Adopting a hard/easy workout schedule and crosstraining with other activities to maintain fitness levels

  • Learning about proper training and technique from a coach or athletic trainer

  • Performing proper warm-up activities before and cool down after

  • Using ice after an activity for minor aches and pain

  • Using anti-inflammatory medications as necessary

If symptoms persist, a sport medicine specialist may create a more detailed treatment plan for your specific condition. This may involve an exam of your training program and an evaluation of predisposing factors.

Prevention

Majority of overuse injuries can be avoided with a proper training program, common sense and learning to listen your own body. The quote : « No pain, no gain » doesn’t apply here. The 10% rule helps a lot to get things to the next level.

In general, you should increase the training’s intensity to a maximum of 10% per week. This allows your body to have enough time for recovery and response. This rule should be used to increase pace or milestone for walkers or runners. Or for the weights amount to increase for strength training programs. In strength training, add flexibility exercises and core stability exercises help tremendously to minimize overuse injuries.

It’s recommended to seek advice from sports medicine specialist or athletic trainer to prevent chronic or recurring problems. Your training program can also be modified to maintain fitness levels safety while you recover from your injuries. You must return to the sport only if an authorization is granted by a health professional.

Remember, it’s very important to warm-up before training and cool down after training.

Stats

3.5 millions of children are treated for overuse injures every year.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food. Click here .

Meniscal Tears

meniscus

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Meniscus tear

meniscus tear

Meniscal tear is one of the most common knee injuries in athletes. This is caused after a contact injury or a traumatic twist. The meniscus is a wedge-shaped cartilage that provides a cushion in the medial and lateral portion of the knee joint and acts as a « shock absorber ». It’s located in the area of joints contact to prevent the bones rub between them because of the bodyweight. It’s hard and rubbery to help cushion the joints and keep the knees stable.

It’s important to also know that the meniscus helps to nourish the knee by facilitating the diffusion of joint fluid. With this injury, athletes can experience acute pain with a swelling and often a catching or locking sensation.

Diagnose

A meniscus injury can be diagnosed on the basis of the story that the patient provides and a physical examination of the knee.

An orthopedic surgeon my also use other techniques to further diagnose such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which gives a 3-dimensional image of the inside of the knee joint. In some cases, a surgeon can perform an arthroscopic inspection of the articulation, this is a minimally invasive surgical procedure.

Treatment

knee brace

A small meniscus tear can be treated with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications. When a meniscus tear causes a significant loss of movement or catching, the appropriate treatment is often a surgical operation. Depending on the location and type of tear, the treatment may be a simple arthroscopy to remove the torn fragment. Depending on how quickly the inflammation disappears, athletes can return to a full activity after a week or months.

For athletes with a repairable tear, sutures are used to sew the meniscus. In this situation, the knee is braced for 6 weeks. These athletes take at least 3-6 months to back to their activities but maintain the full cushion in their knees.

Prevention

There is not really any way to prevent a meniscus tear apart from a conditioning program to try to prevent an acromioclavicular ligament (ACL) tear and knee instability.

Stats

Women have meniscus tears more often than men and at an earlier age. These tears are often associated with an acromioclavicular ligament injury (ACL)

There are some variables of meniscus tears can be repaired and despite repair, they aren’t always heal. But arthritis can be avoided in the majority of cases when repair is successful. One study shows that 60% of patients who undergo meniscectomy (partial elimination) had some degree of progressive arthritis.

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-Steph

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Articular Cartilage Injuries

articular cartilage injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interessted in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Definition

Articular cartilage is difficult to understand because there are 3 types of cartilages in the body : articular of hyaline cartilage (covers joint surfaces), fibrocartilage (knee meniscus, vertebral disk) and elastic cartilage (outer ear). These cartilage’s types differ in their structure, elasticity and strength.

Articular cartilage is a complex element, it’s a living tissue that is on the joint’s surface. The function is to provide a low friction surface to allow the joint to withstand weight loads through the range of motion needed to perform activity of daily living. To put it simply, articular cartilage is a very thin shock absorber. It’s built in 5 distinct layers and each layer has a structural and biochemical difference.

Injury

articular cartilage injury

Articular cartilage injury may be due to trauma or progressive degeneration (wear and tear). This can be mechanical destruction, a direct blow or other trauma. The healing of articular cartilage cells depends on the severity of the damage and the location of the lesion. Articular cartilage has no direct blood supply so it has very little ability to repair itself. It the lesion penetrates the bone under the cartilage, the bone provides blood in the area which improves the chances of healing.

Mechanical degeneration (wear and tear) of articular cartilage occurs with progressive loss of normal cartilage structure and function. This loss begins with the softening of the cartilage, then progresses to fragmentation. As the loss of articular cartilage lining continue, the underlying bone no longer has any protections against normal wear and tear of daily life and begins to get damaged leading to osteoarthritis.

In many cases, a patient experiences knee swelling and vague pain. At this stage, continuous physical activity isn’t possible. If a loose body is present, words such as « locking » or « catching » might be used to explain the problem. With wear and tear , the patient often experiences stiffness, decreased range of motion, joint pain and/or swelling.

Diagnostic

The physician examines the knee to look for a decrease in range of motion, pain along the joint line, swelling, fluid on the knee, abnormal alignment of the joint’s bones, and ligament or meniscal injury.

Cartilage lesions are difficult to diagnose and it’s possible that the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or arthroscopy may be necessary. Plain X- rays don’t usually diagnose articular cartilage problems but they used to rule out other abnormalities.

Treatment

articular cartilage injury treatment

 

Articular cartilage injury that doesn’t penetrate the bone doesn’t repair itself. A lesion that penetrates the bone can heal but the type of cartilage created is structurally unorganized and doesn’t work as well as the original cartilage.

Lesion less than 2 cm have the best prognosis and the best treatment options. These options are arthroscopic surgery using techniques to remove damaged cartilage and increase blood flow from the underlying bone (drilling, pick procedure or microfracture ).

For smaller lesion of articular cartilage surgery is not required.

For larger lesion, it’s necessary to transplant the articular cartilage from another area of the body. Talk to your doctor or specialist to have more information about the decision to have a surgical operation.

For patients with osteoarthritis, non-surgical treatment consists of physical therapy, lifestyle modification (for example reducing activity), bracing, supportive devices, oral and injection drugs (like non-steroidal inflammatory drugs, cartilage protective drugs) and medical management.

Surgical options depend on the severity of osteoarthritis and may provide a reduction in symptoms that are usually short-lived. Total osteoarthritis may relieve the symptom of advanced osteoarthritis but this usually requires a change in the lifestyle and/or level of activity of the patient.

Statistics

Based on published studies, the overall prevalence of articular cartilage injury in the knee is 36% among all athlete and 59% among asymptomatic basketball players and runners.

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Acromioclavicular Joint Injury

acromioclavicular joint injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Acromioclavicular joint is a joint between the clavicle and the scapula. Acromion is a continuation of the scapular spine and hooks over anteriorly. It articulate with the clavicle (collar bone ) to form the acromioclavicular joint.

Problems types

The most common problems are arthritis, fracture and separation. Arthritis is characterized by a loss of joint’s cartilage. Arthritis of acromioclavicular joint is common with weight lifter, especially with bench press and a little less with shoulder press. When there is a problem with the rotator cuff, it’s possible that there is also acromioclavicular joint’s arthritis.

Acromioclavicular separation

acromioclavicular joint injury type grade

When there is an acromioclavicular joint separation, it means that the ligament that connects the acromion and clavicle is damaged and that the 2 structures don’t align properly. Separation’s state can be weak or severe, that is why there is a system of « grade » according to which ligament is torn and the severity of the tear.

Grade I Injury – This is the weakest damage and the acromioclavicular joint is still aligned.

Grade II Injury – This is an average damage. Ligaments are only stretched but not fully torn. In case of stress (physical effort), the acromioclavicular joint becomes painful and unstable.

Grade III Inury – This is a serious damage. Ligaments are completely torn and the collar bone is no longer attached to the scapula, which creates a visible deformity.

Treatment of acromioclavicular joint arthritis

If the rest, ice, medications and change of the training program (changing the exercises) don’t work, the next step is a shot of cortisone. A shot of cortisone in the joint may have calmed the pain and may be permanently swollen. As each individual is unique, the effects may vary and it’s possible that it doesn’t swell permanently.

If non-surgical methods fail, it’s possible to perform a surgical operation. The pain is localized at the bones end that make contact with each other and the goal of the operation is to remove some of the end of the clavicle. This ambulatory surgery can be done with a small incision of 1 inch (2.5 cm) long or with the arthroscopy technique with 2-3 incisions. The results and recovery of these 2 surgical techniques are about the same. Most patients have a full movement by 6 weeks and can return to do sport by 12 weeks.

Treatment for acromioclavicular separation

Separation can create very painful injuries, so the first thing to do is to decrease the pain. Hold the arm in a sling, put ice and pack the shoulder for 20-30 minutes every 2 hours as needed. Acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can also help calm the pain.

When the pain begins to subside, it’s important to move the fingers, wrists and elbow (and eventually the shoulders) in order to avoid having stiff or « frozen » shoulder. The length of time needed to regain complete movement and function depends on the severity or injury’s grade.

Recovery from Grade I acromioclavicular separation usually takes 10-14 days while Grade III takes 6-8 weeks.

When surgery

Grade I and II separations require very rarely surgery. With a Grade III injury, after surgery, it’s possible to have full body physical activity with some restrictions.

Statistics

  • More males than females suffer acromioclavicular joint injuries

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Ankle Sprain

ankle sprain inversion lateral

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

A sprain is a stretch injury of the ligament that supports the ankle. This sprain often happens to the ligament outside the ankle when the foot is twisted inward (inverted). It’s a « lateral » ankle sprain that localized to the ligaments in the outer/lower part of the ankle.

A « high » ankle sprain (or syndesmosis injury) is a ligament stretch injury that holds the tibia and fibula together in the lower leg. This type of sprain happens when the ankle is twisted outward, it’s an eversion injury.

ankle sprain inversion eversion syndesmatic lateral medial high

When there is a sprain, the ankle is tender and swollen on the outside, above and at the front of the ankle bone, but the pain doesn’t come from the ankle bone. A sprain can create moderate or severe pain that can prevent the foot from supporting the body weight.

ankle sprain stretch injury grade

Treatment of sprained ankle

ankle sprain rice rest ice compression elevation

The basic treatment is what we call RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation). During a severe sprain, it’s advisable to use a walking boot to help support the ankle.

Recovery time for a « lateral » sprain is usually 1-3 weeks and for a « high » sprain is usually 3-6 weeks.

Rehabilitation can begin a few days after the sprain when swelling decreases. The rheabilitation has 3 goals :

  1. Restore movement and flexibility

  2. Restore strength

  3. Restore balance

How to avoid a ankle sprain

It’s possible to use a brace to help prevent sprains. There are several types of neoprene or elastic materials. Here are some models on Amazon, click here .

Statistics

  • Ankle sprains are more common in all sport that involve cutting and pivoting

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-Steph