Table 2

Prevalence of overuse wrist injuries and wrist pain

Study informationStudy populationOutcomesPrevalence rates
Author (year), countryDesignData collectionSample size (F, M)Mean age in years (SD and/or range)Type and level of sportOveruse wrist injury definition and period of measurementResultsWrist painOveruse wrist injuriesQuality level
Chang et al14 (1995), TaiwanCross-sectionalQuestionnaire261 (143 F, 118 M)14.4 (SD 2.4) (range 10–19)Chinese opera actors and traditional performersWrist pain (period not specified)174 participants with WP
76 participants with bilateral WP (29%)
Kirby et al15 (1981), CanadaCross-sectionalInterview with participant, musculoskeletal examination, information from parents or coaches59 (all F)11.8 (SD 2.5)Gymnastics: competitive level, at time of provincial championshipsAny musculoskeletal symptoms of the wrist (period not specified)20 participants with right WP
19 participants with left WP
Right WP 33.9%*
Left WP 32.2%*
DiFiori et al16 (1996), USACross-sectionalSurvey‡52 (32 F, 20 M)11.8 (no SD)
Gender subgroups:
F, 12.3 (SD 2.0); M, 10.9 (SD 3.3)
Gymnastics, of elite (0), advanced (3), middle (12), and beginning (17) levelsWrist pain within 6 months previous to survey
WP grades: grade 1 (unrestricted), grade 2 (attends all training sessions, but unable to do full workout), grade 3 (misses at least one training session per month), grade 4 (unable to participate)
38 participants with WP grade 1–4 (28 F, 10 M)
WP distribution: grade 1 (14), grade 2 (16), grade 3 (8), grade 4 (0)
27 participants with bilateral WP (52%)
18 participants with WP >6 months
DiFiori et al17 (2002), USACross-sectionalQuestionnaire, physical examination, radiographs59 (28 F, 31 M)9.3 (SD 2.4)
Gender subgroups:
F, 9.4 (SD 2.5);
M, 9.3 (SD 2.3)
Gymnastics, of precompetitive (26), beginning (26), middle (5), advanced (2), and elite (0) levelsWrist pain within 6 months previous to survey
WP quantified by whether symptoms limited the extent of training or how many days of training were missed per month
33 participants with WP
(17 F (61%), 16 M (52%))
22 participants with bilateral WP
15 participants with WP >6 months
12 participants with symptoms interfering with training
Dixon and Fricker18 (1993), AustraliaRetrospective cohortReviewing of medical records of gymnasts at sports medicine department, where all medical complaints of the institute's gymnasts are attended to116
(74 F, 42 M)
Not specified
Gender subgroups:
F, 13.5 (range 9–19); M, 16.5 (range 12–22)
Gymnastics in program oriented towards elite competitorsChronic wrist injury presented to sports medicine department within 10 years previous to data collection, persisting over a longer period of time and sustained while training or competing, either resulting from initial acute event or from repetitive subthreshold forces (overuse)33 participants with chronic wrist injury
13 F (5 right, 5 left, 3 bilateral)
20 M (8 right, 7 left, 5 bilateral)
Most frequent in F: ligament sprain/tendonitis (5), impingement syndrome (8), epiphysial stress (3)
Most frequent in M: impingement syndrome (23), ligament strains (3)
Stress fracture: 3 (all M)
Purnell et al19 (2010), AustraliaCross-sectionalQuestionnaire§73 (69 F, 4 M)Not specified
Gender subgroups:
F, 13.4 (SD 3.6); M, 20.5 (SD 4.2)
Acrobatic gymnastics, recreational and competitiveChronic injury to wrist that currently affects training or performance and has given continuing problems for 3 months or more7 current chronic wrist injuries9.6%Sufficient
  • *The total number of patients with bilateral wrist pain was not reported.

  • †Prevalence calculated from published data.

  • ‡Type of survey (eg, written questionnaire or interview) not specified.

  • §Primary school aged participants completed questionnaire with parental assistance.

  • F, female; M, male; WP, wrist pain.