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Sports-Related Injuries of the Elbow, Hand or Wrist

Washington University Orthopedic Specialists at Barnes-Jewish Hospital are the team Physicians for the St. Louis Rams and the St. Louis Blues.

There are a variety of common sports injuries of the hand and wrist.  We enjoy and regularly care for athletes of all levels including young recreational players, varsity high school prospects, collegiate athletes, and professional athletes.  We consider the following factors for each injury:

- the sport(s) played

- the position(s) played within the sport

- the time point in the season

- the level of participation (i.e., junior varsity or varsity, etc.)

- the expected “career”

- the exact injury 

Once all of these factors have been considered, it will become clear that some injuries can be treated with immobilization (cast or splint), some with therapy, some will need surgery, and some can be treated with different approaches based on the combined decision- making of the doctor, the patient, the family, and (again depending on the level of the player) the trainer, among others. 

The most common injuries we see in the athlete include:

Elbow

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) capitellum

Ligament injury

Wrist

Distal radius fracture

Scaphoid fracture

Triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) injury

Tendonitis (ECU tendon, most commonly)

Tendon instability

Ligament injury (scapholunate ligament, most commonly)

Hand/ Fingers

Gamekeeper thumb (ulnar collateral ligament injury)

Baseball finger (mallet finger); bony or soft tissue

Flexor tendon sheath/ pulley injury

Fracture of metacarpal or phalanx

PIP joint dislocation

Pediatric Sports-Related Injuries of the Hand/Wrist