FOOSH or 'fall on the outstretched hand' is a common mechanism for hand & upper limb injury.
The injury sustained will depend on many factors. Age for instance; children are more likely to sustain an elbow dislocation, adults a scaphoid fracture and the elderly a distal radial or Colles fracture.
Some injuries which can be sustained from a FOOSH, include;
- soft tissue bruising, laceration, swelling
- fracture (Scaphoid, Colles, Smith's, Barton's)
- ligament (scapho-lunate, dorsal carpus, TFCC)
- dislocation (lunate, perilunate)
- dislocation (Essex-Lopresti)
- ligament (medial collateral, lateral collateral)
- fracture (radial hand & neck, olecranon, coronoid process)
- fracture (distal or proximal humerus, radius, Monteggia, Galeazzi)
- dislocation (A/C joint)
- rotator cuff or labral tear
- fracture (clavicle)
Treatment will depend upon the injury. In the early stages there may be the need to immobilise or keep still using a splint or sling.
Managing swelling & pain is important to prevent unnecessary stiffness.
Movements are incorporated when safe.
Strengthening and advice to assist getting back to normal hand and arm use ensure the best outcomes.
Author Jo Marsh
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