The first line treatment for a sports-related shoulder injury is RICE: rest, ice, compression, elevation. If the pain, swelling, and difficulty using the arm persists, then an evaluation by an orthopedic specialist is warranted. During this evaluation, a physical exam will be performed as well as x-rays. In skeletally immature children, acute injuries may occur at the area of growth in the bone known as the growth plate. The growth plate is more commonly injured because it is weaker than the surrounding shoulder ligaments. Most growth plate fractures heal without complications, but they require special attention to avoid future problems with growth. Other acute injuries to the shoulder may include a shoulder dislocation, a shoulder separation, AC joint sprain, and labral tear. Chronic shoulder injuries, ones that occur over time because of repetitive activity, are known as overuse injuries. For example, Little League Shoulder, also known as proximal humeral epiphysiolysis occurs from throwing and presents as inflammation around the growth plate of the humerus bone. Rotator cuff tendinitis and impingement syndrome are also chronic injuries. Obtaining an MRI of the shoulder will be very useful in helping diagnose these conditions. After your child is seen, evaluated, and diagnosed, the appropriate treatment will be implemented. Usually treatment will consist of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, application of ice, rest and then a good physical therapy program.
My baseball-playing son hurt his shoulder. What do I do now?
About the Author: Elizabeth Stoklosa
Elizabeth Stoklosa is a licensed and certified Physician Assistant, primarily focused on Pain Management and Spine Intervention. Elizabeth has always had an interest in orthopedic and spine conditions. She performs histories and physical’s, orders appropriate diagnostic studies, and interprets X-rays and MRIs. She is extensively qualified at administering trigger point injections, joint injections, nerve blocks, and tendon sheath injections to help alleviate pain, and has experience in caring for patients with spinal cord stimulators or peripheral nerve stimulator implants. She has also cared for patients with pain pumps and specializes in their programming and refilling. She has experience in assisting physicians with interventional procedures, including epidurals, facet injections, rhizotomies, and stimulator implants. Elizabeth’s goal is to provide the patient with the utmost care and the very best results.