September 17, 2020
Upper limb injuries make up 19% of all injuries in hurling. The vast majority of these are fractures and ligament sprains. Fractures make up 36% of upper limb injuries in hurling whereas muscle sprains in the upper limb make up only 5.2% of injuries.
Upper limb injuries can be further divided into the region or joints affected. Wrist/ hand/ finger injuries are the most frequently injured sites when grouped together. Shoulder injuries make up 7% of overall hurling injuries and 38% of upper limb injuries. Finger & hand injuries make up 37% of upper limb injuries, wrist injuries claim 8%, thumb injuries account for 10.2%.
The upper limb injury incidence mimics patterns of injury seen in lacrosse. Research and prevention strategies devised for lacrosse and hockey include sanctioned rules including the mandatory wearing of protective gloves which have proved to reduce injury rates to hand, fingers and thumbs. Despite the introduction of compulsory use of helmets in hurling, gloves are unlikely to be introduced in the sport due to the compromised grip they may cause.