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Quite a Pickle: A 10-Year Increase in Pickleball-Related Hand Injuries.

BACKGROUND: Pickleball popularity has significantly increased in the United States. Wrist, hand, and finger injuries are commonly seen among pickleball players and are on the rise.

METHODS: The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database was queried from 2013 to 2022 tennis- and pickleball-related injuries in the United States. Data were filtered to include wrist, hand, and finger injuries only.

RESULTS: There were a total of 12 021 estimated pickleball injuries between 2013 and 2022, most commonly in white women greater than 55 years old. The most common mechanism of injury (90.5%) was a fall. The number of injuries increased by 765.6% between 2013 and 2022. The growth in the number of pickleball-related injuries was found to be statistically significant ( P < .05), whereas the growth for tennis-related injuries was found to be not statistically different from 0. There was a statistical difference between the growth of the number of pickleball injuries per year and the number of tennis injuries. The wrist was the most common location of injury (70.0%) compared with the hand (10.5%) and fingers (19.5%). The most common injury diagnosis was fracture (60.3%). Overall, the most common injury was wrist fracture (50.0%).

CONCLUSIONS: Hand surgeons should be aware of the increasing prevalence of pickleball-related injuries as an alternative mechanism of injury, particularly among the elderly.

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