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Advances in Orthopedics
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 545438, 4 pages
Research Article

Cartilage Degeneration at Symptomatic Persistent Olecranon Physis in Adolescent Baseball Players

Department of Orthopedics, Tokushima University Hospital, 2-50-1 Kuramoto, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan

Received 27 July 2014; Accepted 2 December 2014; Published 18 December 2014

Academic Editor: Boris Zelle

Copyright © 2014 Tetsuya Enishi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Elbow overuse injuries are common in adolescent baseball players, but symptomatic persistent olecranon physis is rare, and its pathogenesis remains unclear. Purpose. To examine the histopathological and imaging findings of advanced persistent olecranon physis. Methods. The olecranon physes of 2 baseball pitchers, aged 14 and 15 years, were examined by preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and surgical specimens were examined histologically. Results. T2-weighted MRI revealed alterations in the intrachondral signal intensity possibly related to collagen degeneration and increased free water content. Histological findings of specimens stained with hematoxylin-eosin showed complete disorganization of the cartilage structure, hypocellularity, chondrocyte cluster formation, and moderately reduced staining. All these findings are hallmarks of osteoarthritis and are suggestive of cartilage degeneration. Conclusion. Growth plate degeneration was evident in advanced cases of symptomatic persistent olecranon physis. These findings contribute to understanding the pathogenesis of this disease.