Fly fishing-related lesser tuberosity avulsion in an adolescent

Rafael P. Teixeira, Alan R. Johnson, Brendan T. Higgins, John A. Carrino, Edward G. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Stress lesions of the shoulder in athletic and active adolescents are most commonly associated with overhead sports. One of the most uncommon stress lesions of the shoulder in adolescents is an avulsion of the lesser tuberosity of the proximal humerus. To our knowledge, only 2 other cases of lesser tuberosity avulsions from repetitive motion have been reported, both of which were secondary to baseball pitching. This article describes a case of an isolated partial avulsion of the lesser tuberosity of the humerus in an adolescent as a result of repetitive stress from fly fishing. The patient had no symptoms in his shoulder until after casting for approximately 10 hours a day for 3 days. He presented with anterior shoulder pain that worsened with abduction and external rotation. On examination, he had tenderness over the lesser tuberosity and pain with subscapularis muscle testing, such as the lift-off test. He had a negative apprehension sign but no signs of a superior labrum tear. Conventional radiography with an axillary view confirmed the diagnosis. He recovered with rest and gradual return to activities. Two years after injury, the patient had no limitations functionally, and his shoulder examination was normal. This case highlights the importance of being aware that (1) this lesion can occur in activities other than baseball, (2) characteristic physical findings exist with this lesion, (3) obtaining an axillary radiograph can confirm diagnosis, and (4) these avulsions can be treated successfully with nonoperative interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e748-e751
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Fly fishing-related lesser tuberosity avulsion in an adolescent'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this