The Joint Ventures' Blog

Fallen On OutStretched Hand (FOOSH) Injuries

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

FOOSH is a mechanism of injury associated with a traumatic event occurring when an individual falls in an attempt to catch themselves through the palm of their hand. As a result, wrist pain resulting in decreased grip strength, pain with forearm rotations, push/pull movements are common clinical findings.  If severe enough this mechanism of injury can result in fractures of the wrist and hand bones, with risk increasing with individuals over 50 years of age from osteoporosis.  In addition, injury following is increased with a condition known as ulnar variance (ulnar bone is disproportionally longer than the radius bone causing increased force distribution through the ulnarcarpal joint). Increasing in severity, the most common type of forearm fracture is a colles fracture as seen below often via FOOSH injury. A colles fracture is a fracture of the distal radius bone.

Interventions following this injury can include a referral for occupational or physical therapy.  Treatments can include strengthening, improvements in active range of motion, return to functional positions and return to recreational activities free of pain.  Return back to recreational activities too soon can result in increased damage to associated structures such as the TFCC a fibrocartiliage.  FOOSH without fracture conservative treatment includes wrist splinting, grip strengthening and stability exercises.  FOOSH with fracture may result in casting for 4-6 weeks based upon physician recommendations.   Avoiding intervention may result in prolonged time to return to activities and the development of compensatory movement patterns.  So seek out occupational or physical therapy to ensure the best return to normal function.

If you have an injury due to falling on your outstretched hands, then please contact me at or at 617-536-1161.

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