Stress Fracture of the Trapezoid in a Professional Tennis Player

Ochsner J. 2024 Spring;24(1):74-83. doi: 10.31486/toj.23.0067.


Background: Repetitive microtrauma can lead to trapezoid and second metacarpal stress fractures in racket sport players. Nontraumatic trapezoid stress fractures are rare and difficult to diagnose. To our knowledge, only 3 cases had been reported as of May 2023. We report the fourth case of a nontraumatic sports-related trapezoid stress fracture and only the second case in a tennis player. Case Report: A 29-year-old professional and right hand-dominant male tennis player presented with right hand and wrist pain for 3 weeks. He complained of dorsal wrist tenderness proximal to the base of the second metacarpal that was exacerbated by extension of the index finger. Initial radiographs were normal, but magnetic resonance imaging of the wrist showed a stress fracture of the trapezoid bone and base of the second metacarpal. The patient was treated conservatively with a wrist brace, cessation of sports activities, and modification of his training routine. The patient was asymptomatic at 1-year follow-up. Conclusion: This case highlights the relationship between trapezoid and second metacarpal stress fractures in athletes. A high index of suspicion for trapezoid stress fractures should be maintained and included in every differential diagnosis for athletes, especially racket sport players presenting with wrist pain. To avoid future injuries, clinicians should not only treat the fracture but also address the risk factors predisposing to this injury.

Keywords: Carpal bones; fractures–stress; metacarpal bones; racket sports; trapezoid bone.

Publication types

  • Case Reports