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The Young Injured Gymnast

A Literature Review and Discussion

Hart, Elspeth, PA-C, ATC; Meehan, William P. III, MD; Bae, Donald S., MD; d’Hemecourt, Pierre, MD, FACSM; Stracciolini, Andrea, MD, FACSM

doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000536
Competitive Sports: Section Articles

Gymnastics is a sport requiring grace, strength, and flexibility, resulting in a wide variety of injuries. This article is an overview of the sport of gymnastics and associated injury trends in the artistic gymnastics population. Injury rates in gymnastics range from 1.08 to 50.3 per 1000 h of exposure. More injuries occur in competition versus practice. Fewer injuries occur in recreational gymnastics than competitive gymnastics. The most common injury in gymnastics occurs in the lower extremity, and is an ankle sprain, followed by knee internal derangement. However, in men’s gymnastics the most common gymnastics injury occurs in the upper body (specifically the shoulder). The most common skills causing injury to a gymnast are front/back handsprings and saltos/flips. Unique injuries commonly seen when caring for the young gymnast include spondylolysis, ostoechondritis dissecans of the capetillium and talus, Gymnast wrist, Grip lock, Osgood‐Schlatter, patellofemoral syndrome, Sever’s disease, and ankle sprains. Research efforts should focus on injury rates after the 2006 rule change, injury prevention, men’s gymnastics injury patterns, concussions, hip injuries, and ACL injuries in gymnasts.

Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedics, Boston Children’s Hospital; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Waltham, MA

Address for correspondence: Elspeth Hart, PA-C, ATC, 45 Leland Rd. Chestnut Hill, MA 02467; E-mail:

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Sports Medicine.