Proximal Radial Head Fractures in Young Gymnasts: A Case Series of Newly Described Overuse Injuries

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Abstract

We report a case series of unilateral Salter-Harris IV fractures of the proximal radial heads in young female gymnasts. To date, there are no previous reports of such injuries in gymnastics. In all 3 athletes, no significant injury preceded presentation or diagnosis. Radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging showed fractures and associated bone marrow edema of the proximal radial head, respectively. All but 1 was treated nonoperatively with success. Given the lack of acute trauma, lack of large effusion, and good range of motion at presentation, these injuries are believed to be chronic in nature and related to overuse. This case series highlights the need for routine surveillance and the limiting of upper extremity weight bearing when possible in gymnasts.

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