UMEM Educational Pearls

Wrist pain in golfers

70% of amateur golfers will experience a sport related injury in their lifetime.

The hand/wrist is the third most common body area injured by golfers after the back and elbow.

Studies fail to include multi trauma from golf cart accidents:)

Wrist injuries are 3x more frequent than hand injuries.

Wrist injury affects 13 to 20 percent of amateur golfers.

Injury is most likely to occur at the point of ball impact.

Injury most commonly affects the lead wrist rather than the trail wrist.

The lead wrist is left sided for right-handed players and right sided for lefties

Due to many differences in grip and wrist position there are several injury patterns.

Most causes of wrist pain in golfers are tendinopathies. 

            Due to impact stress and repetitive swinging movements

If pain is primarily radial, consider DeQuervain's tenosynovitis

Poor swing mechanics such as premature wrist uncocking in the early downswing places the wrist in ulnar deviation thereby stressing the first dorsal compartment.

Significant ulnar deviation of the lead wrist at time of ball impact may also stress the tendons of the first dorsal compartment.

If pain is primarily ulnar consider Extensor Carpi Ulnaris tendonitis & subluxation

A strong golf grip (more knuckle’s visible) is associated with greater ECU stress during the swing

The height of hand position can also stress the ECU tendon

Differential diagnosis:

TFCC injury

Hook of hamate fracture

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome