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Does the presence of proximal humerus growth plate changes in young baseball pitchers happen only in symptomatic athletes? An x ray evaluation of 21 young baseball pitchers
  1. J Murachovsky,
  2. R Y Ikemoto,
  3. L G P Nascimento,
  4. R Serpone Bueno,
  5. E Strose,
  6. L H Almeida
  1. ABC School of Medicine, Pacaembu, Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil
  1. Dr J Murachovsky, ABC School of Medicine, R. Traipu 1269 Pacaembu, São Paulo 01235000, Brazil; jd.mura{at}


Objective To evaluate the presence of x ray changes in the proximal humerus growth plate of 21 young pitchers.

Design Case series.

Setting This study was conducted at the Orthopaedic and Traumatology Department of the ABC College of Medicine, Santo Andre, São Paulo, Brazil, tertiary institution.

Patients 21 male adolescent baseball pitchers, with a mean age of 14.5 years and selected from the Brazilian National Team, were studied.

Interventions The patients underwent x ray examinations of the shoulders.

Main outcome measurements The x rays of the pitchers’ shoulders were studied to determine any changes in the proximal humeral growth plate and correlate them with clinical findings.

Results Fourteen athletes (66%) had radiographic changes in the humerus growth plate but only 5 (36%) had pain complaints. Nine of these 14 cases (64%) whom the observers found radiographic changes did not complain of pain. It was also observed that there was a correlation in only 11 cases between clinical and radiographic evaluations.

Conclusion Radiographic changes in the proximal humerus growth plate were found in 66% of the cases, but 64% were asymptomatic. These changes indicate possible evolution, in the future, to a greater degree of retroversion in pitchers’ dominant shoulders.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by ABC School of Medicine Research Ethics Committee.

  • Patient consent Obtained from the parents.