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My son is 12 years old and was just diagnosed with elbow OCD. He has had no history of arm issues, no gradual pain, but had elbow pain after pitching on 5/21. He remembers his arm hurt on his 2nd to last batter, got the last batter out, and was done for the day after 63 pitches. His arm had swelling so we shut him down and took him to the doctor. They examined him, did Xrays, and found nothing (growth plates open). So they scheduled an MRI for 3 weeks later (6/10).

On Monday we got the results and they gave us the diagnosis - elbow OCD with loose bodies. The weird part to us is my son has no history of pain, no pain now, and has full range and motion of his arm. He does have clicking noise in his elbow (once every 50 elbow extensions). We meet with the surgeon on Friday but it seems weird that he has none of the symptoms people frequently have.  ANyone have a similar experience?

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The thing about kids is that sometimes they don't use their words.  I have learned to ask leading questions.  If I ask "Does your elbow hurt" he will say NO.  If I ask "On a range of 1-10 how sore is your elbow after pitching today" I usually get an answer between 2-5.  The words "hurt/pain" seems to shut their brain off....I mean how many times have we told them when they were younger "If you're not bleeding you're fine"?

Also, keep in mind, different people have different thresholds for pain, it's a genetic quirk, or it's conditioned. He may not be lying to you that he isn't in pain because he doesn't feel it as acutely as others might.

I hope he doesn't need surgery, best of luck.

My son is scheduled for surgery on August 31.  He still has no pain, full range of motion, and no locking of the elbow.  He does have a loose body and the lesion measured 7 MM.  The rough timeline is 6 weeks in a sling, 4-6 weeks of ROM therapy, 4-6 weeks of strengthening, and then a managed throwing program.  So that sounds good and puts him on track for a normal spring if everything goes well.



Hi Musky, I would be interested in hearing more about your experience (and whether your son has returned to baseball). My 10 year old was just diagnosed and is scheduled for a scope with possible debridement or microfracture surgery this week. My son also has a loose body. He has a 9mm centrally located lesion. Any information you are willing to share would be greatly appreciated. There does not appear to be much out there. Thanks!

This may be rather long response, but I copy and pasted about my sons struggle with OCD over the past 2 years, he is now 17.

2/18/2015  Over 4 hours surgery for my 15 year old son yesterday ~ Right elbow arthroscopy, osteochondial fixation, drilling, open osteochondrial graft from the knee.
2 incisions on elbow, 1 on knee. He is home now, arm has nerve block from anesestia (sp?) which should last throughout the day, so arm is numb. He is in a lot of pain, espe cially knee area, and elbow is starting to hurt too. Go back to Dr. on Friday.

2/22/2015  Nick had his surgery last Tuesday ~ 4 1/2 hour surgery. Had to take bone and cartilage from knee, and put in elbow, drilling, the whole 9 yards. Dr. said he had never seen an elbow in such bad shape for a 15 year old. My son is just now admitting to us that his elbow had been bothering him for months before he said something. He said he didn't say anything because it wasn't "that bad". Ugh! Goes to PT evaluation tomorrow for elbow and knee. He's got a long road ahead of him....Dr. said he will not pitch again, but will be able to play baseball again...just another position. My son is very down right now, which is totally normal....still in alot of pain. Hoping each day will get better, and his emotions will get better too!

5/3/2015  The right (throwing arm in baseball) definitely show OCD in elbow, but the Dr. said the left elbow showed "alittle" OCD. I am so nervous, because my son is complaining his left elbow now has pain....of course I am calling Dr tomorrow to make an appointment, I am praying this is not happening again with his other elbow. A parent never wants to see there child hurting. When they hurt, I hurt too.....Nick has had a rough year. He could not WAIT to play high school baseball. Unfortunately, he never got to play, because he has a condition in his right elbow called Osteochondrtis Dissecans, which less than 1% of the population has. He has worked so hard over the past 4 months to strengthen that elbow, and is doing GREAT! The light at the end of the tunnel, has just turned dark again. On June 23rd he will have to undergo the same surgery on his LEFT elbow. While not being able to use the right elbow for all these months, he felt the same pain in the left elbow, and there are loose bones and cartiliage in that elbow too. His first question to his Dr???? "When can I play baseball again?" He has not, and will not lose his passion and love for the game. He will overcome these setbacks, and play again! The ending to this story will be a great one! Next year I will be so excited to post pics of him on the field, playing the game he loves so much! Wait and see!

10/14/2015  SUCCESS STORY!

1 year ago today, Nick's 1st "fall" season, playing baseball in high school...he was pitching in a game, and threw just 13 pitches....with each pitch his elbow was "grinding"....he was throwing strikes, so he kept going, and didn't tell his coach (dad). He tells us now, he doesn't even remember throwing the last pitch, the pain was so unbearable. Nick was diagnosised with Osteochondritis Dissecans. The past year has been a roller coaster. After his surgery on his right elbow, months later, we find out he had the same condition in his left elbow.....he had another surgery. After plenty of "Why me?" moments, and feelings that he would never play the game he loved again, after a year of physical therapy 3 times a week.....Nick has reached his goal 1 year later and is playing! He's rusty, but I am so proud of him for NEVER GIVING UP! and staying focused on his goal! Since day 1, he has said "I'm coming back stronger", and he has! Congrats Nick ~ you did it!


Nick is on the Varsity high school team, he is a Junior. He plays outfield, 3rd base, and is reflief PITCHER! His arms (elbows) feel GREAT.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, but it is a long process...lots of therapy, and of course, everyone is different with healing. But, his Dr said he would probably never pitch again. He is now pitching side arm, which may make a difference. Not sure if you are on facebook, but there is a page dedicated to Juvenile OCD, and I got a lot of support from there. Here is the link


Good Luck to your son!  


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  • 1 year success!

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