Elbow and Forearm Injuries

  • Anthony LukeEmail author
  • Margaret Lo
  • Marc R. Safran
Part of the Contemporary Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine book series (PASM)


The elbow and forearm create a fascinating joint complex. It is a highly congruous joint that provides a wide range of motion required for function, including sports, yet is inherently stable. The adolescent athlete has the added dimensions of growth and development, which can affect forces around the joint, motor function and can be the source of multiple potential problems. The elbow has a complex maturation process, developing from multiple ossification centers, which can complicate the diagnosis and treatment of injuries. As a growing individual is able to perform with greater speed, strength and endurance, the loading forces, torques, and risk of injury increase.

Injuries to the elbow and forearm can result from overuse or acute trauma. Throwing sports, such as baseball, lead to frequent elbow problems. Overuse elbow injuries are also commonly seen in athletes who use the upper extremities and are involved in repetitive training, such as gymnastics, weight lifting, tennis, and golf. Trauma, typically a fall on the outstretched arm, can result in fractures and dislocation. Fractures in the upper extremity in children most frequently involve the radius and ulna, followed by hand and carpal bones then the distal humerus.


Motor function Maturation Ossification Risk of injury Overuse Acute trauma Throwing sports Repetitive training Fracture Dislocation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OrthpedicsUCSF Primary Care Sports MedicineSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care Sports MedicineSutter Health-Palo Alto Medical FoundationLos AltosUSA
  3. 3.Division of Sports Medicine, Orthopaedic SurgeryStanford University HospitalRedwood CityUSA

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