Ligamentous injuries of the wrist and hand are the most common upper extremity injuries seen in young athletes. Unfortunately, these injuries are also the most frequently misdiagnosed. The “sprained wrist” often becomes the diagnosis of convenience, especially once a fracture has been ruled out. In many cases the athlete is treated symptomatically with cryotherapy, immobilization, and rest, and returns to activity as pain allows. Concern, however, has increased recently over potential complications related to associated ligamentous injuries in young athletes. The most common recognized, carpal instability is between the scaphoid and the lunate, the so-called scapholunate dissociation (3).
Kevin M. Guskiewicz is with the Athletic Training/Sports Medicine Research Laboratory at the University of Virginia. Gregory G. Degnan is with the Department of Orthopedics at the University of Virginia. Thomas L. Schildwachter is with Martha Jefferson Hospital, Charlottesville, VA. Direct correspondence to Kevin M. Guskiewicz, 203 Memorial Gymnasium, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903.