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What are FOOSH injuries and their effects?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2023 | Personal Injury

Medical jargon can be highly complex, so doctors often use abbreviations to get the point across to one another more easily. The result is jargon that can often be incomprehensible to patients. For example, FOOSH is an acronym that stands for fall onto an outstretched hand. Doctors pronounce it as a single word.

While many people suffer no ill effects from a FOOSH injury, WebMD describes many of the negative effects that a FOOSH injury can have.


If the fall caused an open wound and dirt got under the skin, it can result in cellulitis. Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that occurs deep under the skin. It can cause extreme pain.


The pressure of a person’s body weight onto the upper extremity can cause joints such as the elbow and shoulder to dislocate. The shoulder may be at greater risk for dislocation because it is mostly soft tissues holding it in place.

Dislocations may occur with bone fractures or by themselves. Reducing a dislocation, i.e., putting the bone back into its anatomic position, must take place right away. Otherwise, soft tissue swelling at the dislocation site could make it more difficult and painful.


There are some types of upper extremity fractures that are characteristic of a FOOSH injury. An example is a Colles’ fracture, which occurs in the forearm, often near the wrist, and causes the bone fragment to bend backward or outward. Boxer’s fractures, which affect the small bones in the hand, occur from hitting something very hard, but they can also occur due to the force of a FOOSH injury.

While anyone can sustain a fracture due to a FOOSH injury, people with low bone density are at greater risk for fractures and serious complications.