Common Acute Upper Extremity Injuries In Sports

Holly J. Benjamin, Brian T. Hang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Primary and emergency care physicians will undoubtedly encounter upper extremity injuries on a regular basis in their practice. Rates of participation in sports activities have been steadily increasing in recent decades, with both the frequency and intensity of participation by young athletes higher than ever before. Caring for the pediatric athlete can be quite challenging. There are significant anatomical differences in the skeletally immature patient that must be distinguished from the skeletally mature patient to properly identify and treat the variety of musculoskeletal injuries encountered in an emergency department setting. Athletes have injuries most commonly to the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand as a result of a fall onto an outstretched arm. This article aims to educate emergency medicine physicians and pediatricians about the nature of acute traumatic sports-related upper extremity injuries. Common mechanisms of injury, classic physical examination, and radiographic findings are reviewed. General guidelines for treatment as well as indications for referral to a sports medicine or orthopedic specialist are included in the discussion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-30
Number of pages16
JournalClinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007


  • Salter-Harris
  • acromioclavicular joint
  • clavicle
  • elbow dislocation
  • glenohumeral joint
  • humerus
  • lateral condyle fracture
  • medial condyle fracture
  • nursemaid's elbow
  • olecranon fracture
  • radius fracture
  • supracondylar fracture
  • torus/buckle fracture
  • upper extremity injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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