FOOSH (Fall Onto an Outstretched Hand) Injuries

With the ever anticipated Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup around the corner we thought it paramount to bring some awareness to this type of injury, which although can occur with any fall is very common in horseback riding.

What is it? 

FOOSH is a mechanism of injury associated with a traumatic event occurring when an individual falls in an attempt to catch themselves through the palm of their hand.



If you suffer a FOOSH injury, there are many different body parts that can become injured. These typically involve your wrist and hand, but you may also injure your elbow or shoulder as well. Common injuries that occur after a FOOSH include:

  • Colles’ fracture: a fracture of the wrist where the end of your arm bone is displaced backward.
  • Smith’s fracture: a wrist fracture, similar to a Colles’ fracture, where the end of your arm bone is displaced towards the front of your wrist.




  • Elbow dislocation or elbow fracture: a FOOSH injury may cause your elbow to come out of joint or may even break a bone in your elbow.





  • Collarbone fracture: the forced from falling with your hand and arm outstretched may travel all the way up to your collar bone, causing a fracture there.
  • Proximal humeral fracture: a FOOSH injury may jam your arm bone up into your shoulder, causing a proximal humeral fracture.
  • Shoulder dislocation: a fall with your hand and arm outstretched may cause your shoulder to come out of joint. This may cause a rotator cuff tear or a labrum injury.









First steps after a FOOSH injury

If you have fallen down and landed on your hand, wrist, or arm there are a few things you should do to ensure that you get the proper care for your injury, including:


Common treatments your physical therapist may offer after a FOOSH injury may include:









For more information and injury prevention tips, follow the links below: