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FOOSH - What Does FOOSH Stand For?

What Is FOOSH Injury?

FOOSH is an acronym for a type of injury of the upper extremity (arm). It stands for Fall on Outstretched Hand. A FOOSH injury occurs when you try to break a fall on your outstretched hand.

FOOSH can lead to an upper limb injury. It may cause a break (fracture) in your forearm or arm bone. Sometimes, a bone in your wrist may be damaged or displaced as well. In others, it may result in dislocation of the elbow or a dislocated shoulder wherein the head of the humerus--upper end of the arm bone--moves out of its socket.

FOOSH (Fall on Outstreched Hand) Injury
FOOSH Injury
Falling on an outstretched hand may lead to shoulder problems, such as a torn rotator cuff, separation between your collarbone (clavicle) and shoulder blade (scapula), or a fractured clavicle.


The symptoms of a FOOSH injury may be different depending on the specific upper limb structure involved and the severity of injury. However, the most common symptom is pain on the injured body part. Other symptoms that you may experience may include
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising (If small blood vessels are damaged as well)
  • Difficulty moving your upper limb
  • Weakness
  • Obvious deformity (possible fracture)
  • Bone appears out of location in a joint (possible dislocation)

If you experience severe symptoms, don't hesitate to seek immediate medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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Page Last Revised: July 27, 2014