Dr. Mark E. Pruzansky
Dr. Jason S. Pruzansky
975 Park Avenue New York, NY 10028


What are Kickboxing Injuries?

Kickboxing is a contact sport in which competitors utilize their upper and lower extremities, especially hands, wrists and elbows during high-intensity bouts and workouts that result in strain on joints and muscles. When muscles in the arm become fatigued, supporting structures will attempt to compensate by transferring stress, leading to injury. Injuries may be chronic or acute due to long term stress or quick, high force impact.

Types of Kickboxing Injuries

The nature of the sport of kickboxing makes injuries to the hands, wrists, and elbow are very common. The most common kickboxing injuries include:

  • Bennett’s fracture: fracture of the base of the first metacarpal bone.
  • Boxer’s fracture: a break in the neck of the metacarpal, usually the fifth.
  • Carpal metacarpal instability: loss of normal alignment of the carpal and metacarpal bones due to torn ligaments and sometimes fractures.
  • Extensor carpi ulnaris tendinitis: inflammation of the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon on the pinky side of the wrist.
  • Scapholunate ligament tear and perilunate dislocation: instability or dislocation of one or more bones of the wrist.
  • Sagittal band and extensor aponeurosis injuries—Boxer’s Knuckle: traumatic extensor tendon dislocation at the metacarpal phalangeal joint.
  • Elbow fracture: damage to the olecranon.
  • Interphalangeal joint dislocation: dislocation of one of the two small joints of the fingers.
  • Phalangeal fracture: finger fractures, sometimes with subluxation or joint dislocation.

Characteristics and Clinical Presentation of Kickboxing Injuries

Many patients with kickboxing injuries report additional pain when lifting, twisting, or otherwise gripping with the affected hand and arm. Movement of the hand or arm may be difficult when engaging in routine activities. The hand or arm may also have visible deformities, or be  painful when not in use.

Symptoms of kickboxing injuries may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Deformity

Causes of Kickboxing Injuries Injuries

Kickboxing is a high-contact sport that involves twisting, pivoting, and physical force. Improper body mechanics or overuse during this activity may result in injuries from the following:

  • Acute traumatic events
  • Chronic repetitive stress
  • Reinjury following an incompletely healed injury

Getting a Diagnosis for Kickboxing Injuries

A careful physical exam and the findings on an x-ray will identify the diagnosis. Medical imaging with an MRI or CT scan are other methods helpful when diagnosing and treating kickboxing injuries.

If you’ve recently injured your hand, wrist, or elbow while kickboxing, you should schedule an appointment with a highly skilled hand surgeon to get a proper diagnosis.

Treatment Options for Kickboxing Injuries

Early treatments for kickboxing injuries include occupational and physical therapy, immobilizing, taping, and padding the affected region. Older and more severely disabling disorders may require arthroscopically assisted reconstructive or open surgery.  

Conservative Treatments

Most fractures with or without mild angulation can be treated with simple immobilization with or without fracture and dislocation reduction with tape or in a splint, brace or cast. Additionally, use of corticosteroid injections, NSAIDs and resting the arm may alleviate swelling and inflammation when no surgical intervention is required.

Surgical Treatments

More severely misaligned fractures, joint surface deformities, and torn tendons and ligaments may benefit from surgical realignment and stabilization to restore correct proper body mechanics and range of motion in the affected regions. Next a period of immobilization with splints or casts may be recommended. Patients with chronic injuries who do not respond to conservative treatments may benefit from surgical intervention.

Preventing an Injury while Kickboxing

As a general rule, competitors shouldn’t go in with cold, tight muscles. Competitors should always warm up with light cardio and proper stretching techniques. Warm muscles stretch more easily and this can help reduce the risk of injury.

Additionally, proper use of well-fitted safety and kickboxing equipment may prevent acute impact injuries. Resting the arms following rigorous arm activity can promote healing to inflamed or swollen areas.

Prognosis for Kickboxing Injuries

Patients with conservative treatment plans may be able to return quickly to their sport. Patients requiring surgical intervention can optimize their recovery and return to sport applying best practices for treatment and rehab.  For the best possible prognosis, patients should seek medical attention immediately following an injury or experiencing pain.

Chronic and acute injuries have less ability to maximally recover if proper medical intervention is delayed.

If You Believe You Have a Kickboxing Injury Contact HandSport Surgery Institute

Please contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment with our talented team. People experiencing injuries from kickboxing should be evaluated to maximize recovery and reduce the possibility of further injury and mobility issues.

If you have been injured, it’s important to be evaluated by a highly skilled professional. Call Drs. Mark and Jason Pruzansky at 212-249-8700 to schedule an appointment and obtain an accurate diagnosis.