Upper extremity injuries in the paediatric athlete

Sports Med. 2000 Aug;30(2):117-35. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200030020-00005.


Injuries to the upper extremity in paediatric and adolescent athletes are increasingly being seen with expanded participation and higher competitive levels of youth sports. Injury patterns are unique to the growing musculoskeletal system and specific to the demands of the involved sport. Shoulder injuries include sternoclavicular joint injury, clavicle fracture, acromioclavicular joint injury, osteolysis of the distal clavicle, little league shoulder, proximal humerus fracture, glenohumeral instability and rotator cuff injury. Elbow injuries include supracondylar fracture, lateral condyle fracture, radial head/neck fracture, medial epicondyle avulsion, elbow dislocation and little league elbow. Wrist and hand injuries include distal radius fracture, distal radial physeal injury, triangular fibrocartilage tear, scaphoid fracture, wrist ligamentous injury thumb metacarpalphalangeal ulnar collateral ligament injury, proximal and distal interphalangeal joint injuries and finger fractures. Recognition of injury patterns with early activity modification and the initiation of efficacious treatment can prevent deformity/disability and return the youth athlete to sport.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Elbow / pathology
  • Elbow Injuries*
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation / methods
  • Fractures, Closed / etiology
  • Fractures, Closed / rehabilitation
  • Hand Injuries / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Shoulder / pathology
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Wrist Injuries / pathology*