Hand and Wrist Injuries in the Pediatric Athlete

Clin Sports Med. 2020 Apr;39(2):457-479. doi: 10.1016/j.csm.2020.01.001.


This article examines the most common problematic hand and wrist injuries in the pediatric athlete. Hand and wrist injuries in the growing skeleton pose a different diagnostic and therapeutic challenge than in the mature skeleton. Ligaments are stronger than bone, and unossified cartilaginous sections of the skeleton are yet more susceptible to injury than bone. Although remodeling can correct for even moderate deformities if sufficient growth potential exists, remodeling cannot return the child to normal anatomy in many cases. Remodeling depends on intact periosteum, a nearby growing physis, and competent ligaments to direct remodeling via Hueter-Volkmann and Wolff's laws.

Keywords: Distal radius fracture; Galeazzi fracture; Gymnast wrist; Salter-Harris fracture; Scaphoid fracture; Wrist fracture.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carpal Bones / injuries
  • Child
  • Finger Phalanges / injuries
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy
  • Growth Plate / physiology
  • Hand Injuries / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Ligaments / injuries
  • Return to Sport
  • Salter-Harris Fractures / therapy
  • Wrist Injuries / therapy*
  • Youth Sports / injuries*