What is a FOOSH injury? 8/30

By Whittney Findley LAT, ATC The University of Kansas Health System
Posted: August 31, 2018 - 8:34 AM

FOOSH is an acronym used to describe any injury that results from falling on outstretched hands – FOOSH. This can cause damage to the bone and soft tissue of the hand, wrist or other part of the upper extremity. FOOSH injuries are most commonly seen in sports that involve running or jumping, including football, soccer, rollerblading or skiing. 

Common types of FOOSH injuries include:

  • Fracture of the distal radius bone, also known as a Colle’s fracture of the wrist
  • Injury to soft tissue, such as a sprain of the carpal ligaments
  • Carpal bone fracture, most commonly injuring the scaphoid bone of the hand.

Common signs and symptoms of a FOOSH injury include localized pain, swelling and decreased range of motion in the hand, wrist or arm. You may also see a deformity in the wrist or forearm if a fracture has occurred. Imaging, such as X-ray or MRI, is often needed to determine the specific location and degree of a FOOSH injury and to rule out any fracture. In some cases, a follow-up appointment with a sports medicine or orthopedic physician may be necessary, especially if a fracture is suspected or diagnosed. 

Treatment and return to play
There are several treatment options depending on the severity and type of FOOSH injury sustained. Over-the-counter medications may be used as directed by a physician to help with any pain or swelling. A brace, splint or cast may be used to immobilize the injury site and encourage bone or soft tissue healing. In more severe FOOSH injuries, surgery may be required to repair the damage. Once healed, a physician, athletic trainer or other medical professional skilled in injury evaluation should be consulted to guide a safe and appropriate return to activity.

For more sports medicine articles and information on the Sports Medicine & Performance Center at the University of Kansas Health System, go to sportstmedicine.kansashealthsystem.com or follow @KUSportsMed on twitter.

Wittney Findley is the athletic trainer for Shawnee Mission South.



The University of Kansas Hospital Sports Medicine Archive