Investigating fall onto an outstretched hand (summary)

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 3 Apr 2018
This is a basic article for medical students and other non-radiologists

Fall onto an outstretched hand (FOOSH) is a very common presentation across all ages. It occurs following sporting injuries, or simply after a fall. 


  • assessment
    • history
      • bimodal age and sex presentation
        • young patients - high energy trauma
        • older patients - lower energy, e.g. simple fall
      • did anything precipitate the fall, e.g. seizure, cardiac event, loss of consciousness
    • examination
      • variety of injuries following FOOSH
        • wrist, elbow and shoulder can be injured
  • investigation
    • plain radiograph
      • assessment of any fracture
      • investigation depends on affected area
        • wrist series (AP and lateral)
        • elbow series (AP and lateral)
    • other investigations
      • scaphoid imaging requires additional views
      • MRI scaphoid/bone scan
        • followup scaphoid imaging if x-ray normal
      • CT scaphoid
        • assessment of complex fracture
Common pathology

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