FOOSH (Fallen Onto an Outstretched Hand)


Hand Fracture
a.k.a. FOOSH
(Fallen Onto an Outstretched Hand)

FOOSH might sound like an onomatopoeia, but it’s actually an acronym nickname for injuries caused by having “fallen onto an outstretched hand.” You’ve probably been there before. You trip or get knocked down for some reason, and reflexively reach out your hand to break your fall. Unfortunately, sometimes this can break your hand or wrist in the process.

FOOSH injuries are some of the most common injuries in the wrist and hand. Since falling is just part of the game for many sports, we deal with a lot of FOOSH injuries at MOTUS. Sometimes this means a sprain, and sometimes it’s a fracture. There are many bones in the hands and wrist, so it could be one of several distal radial fractures, carpal fractures, or forearm fractures.

Distal radius fracture like Colles’ and Smith fractures are particularly common. These types of breaks happen where the wrist meets the arm, and will lead to pain, swelling, tenderness, and bruising at the wrist.

Wrist sprains are another common FOOSH injury. In this case, instead of the bones being injured, it’s one of the ligaments within the wrist structure. Many sprains are not severe, and could just take a few weeks to heal with the help of some physical therapy.

Scaphoid fractures count as a FOOSH injury, as well. This common wrist fracture has potential complications if it’s left untreated, so it’s really important to spot it and address it right away.

If you fall on an outstretched hand and injure yourself as a result, you’ll know you’re dealing with a FOOSH injury. It’s the diagnosing and treatment plan that requires the expertise from MOTUS. We treat all kinds of FOOSH injuries on a regular basis in our clinic, most of which are on athletes who get hurt during play. We’ll diagnose your injury with a physical exam that looks at range of motion, functionality, and strength. Imaging tests such as X-rays or MRIs may be necessary as well.

Treatment plans depend on the type and severity of the FOOSH injury. Fractures usually call for immobilization for several weeks, while sprains can be braced for a shorter period of time. After a period of rest, we can work towards improving your range of motion and strength. We’ll also work with you to develop better form and preparation for potential falls in the future. Our goal at MOTUS is always to take it a step beyond the problem itself by helping you create real change and develop healthier movements.