Artistic gymnastics is a physically demanding sport that requires flexibility, agility, and extreme upper and lower body strength. The specific biomechanics of the sport leads to a unique injury profile. Gymnastic skills require intense upper body weight-bearing, placing unusual forces across the upper extremity joints and predisposing them to injury. In addition, the required body control during air aerobatics (tumbling, twisting, flipping) necessitates precise landing techniques to avoid spine and lower extremity injury. Common gymnastic injuries include those of the spine and upper extremity such as spondylolysis, shoulder instability, ulnar collateral ligament injuries, capitellar osteochondritis dissecans, and several wrist pathologies. Understanding the injury etiology, prevention, and treatment protocols is important for a successful recovery and return to sport.
From the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Columbia University, New York, NY.
None of the following authors or any immediate family member has received anything of value from or has stock or stock options held in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article: Dr. Desai, Dr. Vance, Dr. Rosenwasser, and Dr. Ahmad.