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Humerus shaft fracture caused by arm wrestling injury: examination of mechanism through radiological analysis
Arthrosc Orthop Sports Med 2024;11:16-22
Published online May 1, 2024;
© 2024 Korean Arthroscopy Society and Korean Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine.

Chi-Hoon Oh, Jaiwoo Chung, Cheungsoo Ha, Soo-Hong Han

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, CHA Bundang Medical Center, School of Medicine, CHA University, Seongnam, Korea
Correspondence to: Soo-Hong Han,
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, CHA Bundang Medical Center, 59 Yatap-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam 13496, Korea. Tel: +82-31-780-5289, Fax: +82-31-708-3578, E-mail:
Received December 30, 2023; Revised April 4, 2024; Accepted April 10, 2024.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: Arm wrestling, a widely practiced sport, particularly among young male, has been associated with humerus shaft fractures. This study analyzed the occurrence patterns of humerus fractures and patients’ characteristics during arm wrestling exercises, considering radiological results and injury mechanisms.
Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of 20 humeral fractures resulting from arm wrestling injuries. Surgical treatment using dual plates was performed in all cases, and radiographic imaging data were analyzed to determine fracture location, AO classification, and injury mechanisms. Cases with radial nerve palsy and bone healing period were also evaluated.
Results: All participants were male, with an average age of 27 years, and most fractures occurred on the right side. Fractures were predominantly AO type A1 (40.0%) and B2 (60.0%). Arm positions at the time of fracture varied, with external rotation being the most common (50.0%). All fractures successfully united with an average healing time of 14 weeks, and two cases with radial nerve palsy recovered completely. Spiral fractures were predominant, with consistent characteristics observed in 3-dimensional computed tomography reconstruction. All fracture patterns exhibited an oblique fracture slope angle, which suggested that the injuries were primarily caused by rotational forces, even in AO type B2 fractures. Results suggest a progression from A1 to B2 fractures driven by compression force. Fractures occurred more frequently in losing or neck-and-neck situations, emphasizing the importance of creating winning conditions to prevent injuries.
Conclusion: Most fractures occurred in nonarm wrestling experts, often in losing situations. Despite its global popularity, more fractures occur among nonprofessionals. Such injuries may be prevented by determining the winner or loser before entire external arm rotation. Alternatively, promoting arm wrestling among those with professional training is advised.
Keywords : Arm wrestling; Humeral fractures; Dual plate; Radial neuropathy
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May 2024, 11 (1)