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Proximal Radial Head Fractures in Young Gymnasts

A Case Series of Newly Described Overuse Injuries

Santelli, Jaron, MD*; McCambridge, Teri M., MD, FAAP; Valasek, Amy E., MD; Standiford, Kathleen, MD§

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: January 2019 - Volume 29 - Issue 1 - p e1–e3
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000498
Case Report

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.

*Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Emergency Medicine Program,The Dell Medical School at The University of Texas, Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas Hospital, Austin Texas;

Department of Pediatrics and Orthopedics, University of Maryland Medical System, Baltimore, Maryland;

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Sports Medicine, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio; and

§Advanced Radiology, Baltimore, Maryland.

Corresponding Author: Jaron Santelli, MD, Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Emergency Medicine Program, Center for Clinical Education, 1400 N I 35, Suite 2.230, Austin, Texas 78701 (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received March 15, 2017

Accepted June 09, 2017

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