Repetitive throwing can create an excessively strong pull on the tendons and ligaments of the elbow. The young player feels pain at the knobby bump on the inside of the elbow. "Little Leaguer's elbow" can be serious if it becomes aggravated. Repeated pulling can tear ligaments and tendons away from the bone. The tearing may pull tiny bone fragments with it in the same way a plant takes soil with it when it is uprooted. This can disrupt normal bone growth, resulting in deformity. Younger children tend to respond better to nonsurgical treatments. Depending upon a child's injury, surgery may involve removing loose bone fragments, bone grafting, or reattaching a ligament back to the bone.
Because a young child's bones and muscles are still developing, it typically takes very little force to pull the bones of the elbow partially out of place, making this injury very common. It is sometimes referred to as "pulled elbow" because it occurs when a child's elbow is pulled and partially dislocates. Although the injury may cause initial pain, a doctor or other healthcare professional can easily reset the elbow, quickly relieving any discomfort and restoring arm movement.