Foosh trauma in winter athletes

Foosh stands for "fall onto outstretched hand. It is a trauma of hand/wrist where you thus fall on an outstretched hand. Foosh trauma is linked to winter sports because we see this type of trauma occur regularly among the population of winter sports enthusiasts. A foosh trauma can involve a variety of injuries. For example, a scaphoid fracture, distal radius fracture, radial or ulnar styloid fracture, etc., can occur in such trauma. Whether injury occurs and what kind of injury depends on many factors. Examples include your physical condition, the impact of the fall, the direction of impact and the type of surface you fall on.

The scaphiodeum is one of eight small bones in the wrist region. In a Foosh trauma, and this is the most common injury. It is characterized primarily by pain on the thumb side possibly in combination with swelling and/or bluish discoloration. Sometimes it is overlooked because it is then thought to be a contusion or strain. This is because it is a fracture in which you generally see little abnormality from the outside.

A distal radius fracture is also common. This involves a fracture between one of the bones connecting the forearm to the wrist. Also with this type of fracture, you often see swelling, pain and sometimes displacement of bone as symptoms. If the fracture is neatly together, cast treatment can be used. In severe or more displaced fractures, surgical intervention is sometimes needed. 

Bone pieces at the end of the radius or ulna can also break. We call these bone pieces processus styloideus. Here, too, the symptoms often consist of nothing more than pain. It is important to recognize and treat this type of fracture.

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After trauma and when injury is suspected, referral for an x-ray may be recommended. This will clarify the situation in the wrist region and will reveal any fractures. Should a fracture be present after foosh trauma, the management will depend on several factors. Fractures in which few bone fragments are present and which are well together can often be treated without surgery (in plaster). Fractures in which many bone fragments are present or when the bone parts are too far apart may require surgical intervention. The specialist decides what policy will be implemented. 

After going through foosh trauma (with injury) physical therapy will be part of the recovery. If you are allowed to return to exercise you will work with the physical therapist to develop a treatment plan. Often this will consist of; 

  • improving dexterity
  • reducing pain
  • improving strength
  • decreasing any swelling
  • Being able to use the arm again in daily activities and sports

Such rehabilitation is divided into different phases where your physical therapist will be able to advise you in how to deal with each phase of this rehabilitation.

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