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Youth Athletes

What is the Growth Plate?

Anatomy Growth plates, referred to as physis or physeal plates, can be found at the ends of long bones in children and teenagers. These specialized regions of cartilage play a crucial role in the longitudinal growth and maturation of bones. Throughout childhood and adolescence, the lengthening of long bones occurs primarily through a gradual transformation process. Over the course of several years during adolescent growth, these cartilaginous regions undergo a gradual conversion into solid bone tissue, signifying the completion of the growth phase. The growth plate is composed of multiple … Continue Reading

Little League Elbow

Throwing athletes place significant stress on the throwing arm, affecting both adults and younger players. In adults, this stress is primarily absorbed by the ligaments and tendons, often resulting in tendinitis or ligament strain. However, in growing children, the stress is concentrated on the vulnerable areas of the bones, specifically the cartilage at the ends of the bones known as growth plates. Unlike the ligaments and tendons that attach to them, the cartilage of the growth plates is relatively weaker. Consequently, during the throwing motion, the growth plates are the … Continue Reading

Little League Shoulder

Little League Shoulder, also known as “proximal humeral epiphysiolysis” in medical terms, refers to a stress injury that affects the growth plate of the shoulder in athletes who are still in the process of skeletal maturation. The closure of the shoulder’s growth plate usually takes place between the ages of 18 and 21. Little League Shoulder primarily affects young baseball players, especially pitchers between the ages of 11 and 16, when the growth plate is most vulnerable to injury. However, in theory, this injury can occur at any age until … Continue Reading