The pediatrician got an MRI scan, which showed a tear of the subscapularis muscle and he was sent to physical therapy. After about two weeks he went back to throwing but the shoulder again became sore and he was unable to pitch.
I then brought him to an orthopedic surgeon who said he needed to rest the shoulder for a couple of months and we are concerned that he is going to miss this baseball season. Does this sound like the right treatment and what can we do to get him to play sooner?
Your son appears to have a less common injury, which is a tear of the muscular portion of the subscapularis. Muscle tears can result in pain and weakness and usually require a significant period of rest and physical therapy for them to get better. Usually muscle tears will heal non-surgically.
After a period of rest to decrease the inflammation and swelling, the patient gradually works to restore normal motion and then works on a gradual strengthening program. It is common for this injury to take at least several months to heal. I do agree that this baseball season may be in jeopardy for your son.
If you are unsure of the diagnosis or timeframe, you may want to discuss this further with your current doctor or get a second orthopedic surgical opinion.
When your son returns to playing, it is very important that proper warm-up and conditioning is emphasized as well as proper throwing mechanics to decrease the risk of re-injury in the future.