Korean J Sports Med.  2016 Dec;34(2):132-138. 10.5763/kjsm.2016.34.2.132.

Ultrasonographic Findings of Little Leaguer's Shoulder

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Good Samsun Hospital, Busan, Korea. hongiroom@naver.com


The purpose
of this study is to evaluate the ultrasonographic findings of little leaguer's shoulder among adolescent baseball players. Forty-two little leaguer's shoulder patients (age, 11–16 years; mean, 13.8 years; right, 39; left, 3), based on plain X-ray, were examined by bilateral shoulder ultrasonography. All patients were divided into groups on the basis of sonographic abnormalities and bilateral differences of physeal gap were measured in the cases of significant physeal widening. Sonographic abnormalities of dominant shoulder were physeal irregularity (45%), physeal fragmentation (21%), periosteal thickening (36%) and physeal widening (83%) that was the most common abnormalities. Seven of 42 patients (group A) had only physeal irregularity with minimal physeal widening, 26 patients (group B) had more than 1-mm physeal widening compared with nondominant shoulder. Nine patients (group C) had both physeal widening and fragmentation. Mean physeal gaps of the dominant and nondominant shoulders in 35 patients (group B and C) were 3.4±0.8 mm and 1.4±0.1 mm, respectively (p=0.013) and increased average physeal gap of dominant shoulder was 2.0±0.8 mm. Among three groups of patients, the duration of symptom was significant longer in group C (p=0.011). Physeal widening and fragmentation were associated with progression of the disease, but physeal irregularity was relatively early sonographic finding. Ultrasonography is a useful tool to evaluate the status of proximal humeral epiphysis and can aid early diagnosis of little leaguer's shoulder in the field.


Shoulder; Ultrasonography; Humerus
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