Boys gymnastics injuries: A 9-year retrospective review

Basel Ahmad, Cynthia R. LaBella, Sigrid F. Wolf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Young male gymnasts are a frequently injured, yet infrequently studied population. Literature on gymnastics injuries has focused primarily on female gymnasts at elite and collegiate levels. Gymnastics equipment, rules, and training methods have continued to evolve over the past few decades so the previous data likely does not reflect current injury patterns. Our study aimed to provide a description of injury patterns for contemporary club-level, pre-collegiate male gymnasts. Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of 163 gymnastics injuries from 84 male subjects ages 4–19 years. Subjects were seen between 2010 and 2019 in pediatric sports medicine clinics. Gymnast demographics, injury locations, injury types, and gymnastics apparatus were collected as available. Results: Our cohort had a mean age of 12.5 ± 3.0 years, gymnastics participation for 8.1 ± 2.9 years, and gymnastics level of 7.4 ± 1.7. Overuse injuries (59.5%) were more common than acute injuries (40.5%). The most common injury locations were lower extremity (42.3%), followed by upper extremity (32.5%), spine/trunk (19.6%), and head/neck (5.5%). The leading injury types were strains (16.6%) and apophysitis (12.9%). The most common apparatus for injury was floor (25%) followed by vault (20%). Binomial logistic regressions revealed that higher gymnastics level (OR = 5.19, p = .031) and younger age (OR = 4.05, p = .012) were predictors of lower extremity injuries. Conclusion: Our data show that injuries among club-level, young male gymnasts were most frequently located in the lower extremities. This contrasts older studies of primarily elite male gymnasts where injuries were more common in upper extremities. Overuse injuries were most prevalent in our cohort, and the most frequent injury types were strains and apophysitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-315
Number of pages5
JournalPhysician and Sportsmedicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022


  • club gymnastics
  • gymnastics
  • injury
  • male gymnast
  • pediatric sports medicine
  • young gymnast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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