Tennis overuse injuries in the upper extremity

Skeletal Radiol. 2021 Apr;50(4):629-644. doi: 10.1007/s00256-020-03634-2. Epub 2020 Oct 3.


Objective: Tennis is a popular sport with high levels of participation. This article aims to describe how upper extremity overuse injuries occur in relation to tennis biomechanics and to review their imaging characteristics and implications for management. In particular, we will review the imaging patterns of internal impingement, scapular dyskinesis, lateral and medial epicondylitis, ulnar collateral ligament insufficiency, valgus extension overload, capitellar osteochondritis dissecans, extensor carpi ulnaris tendinosis and instability, tenosynovitis, triangular fibrocartilage complex injuries, and carpal stress injuries.

Conclusion: Tennis is a complex and physically demanding sport with a wide range of associated injuries. Repetitive overloading commonly leads to injuries of the upper extremity. An understanding of the underlying mechanisms of injury and knowledge of these injury patterns will aid the radiologist in generating the correct diagnosis in both the professional and recreational tennis athlete.

Keywords: Elbow; Shoulder; Sports injuries; Tennis athlete; Wrist and hand.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Tennis*
  • Upper Extremity / diagnostic imaging
  • Wrist Injuries* / diagnostic imaging