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Intersection syndrome: an acute surgical disease in elite rowers


Hoy, G and Trease, L and Braybon, W, Intersection syndrome: an acute surgical disease in elite rowers, BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 5, (1) pp. 1-6. ISSN 2055-7647 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2019-000535


Objective:Intersection syndrome is a relatively common condition in elite rowers and continuing conjecture over its pathology and best management often includes prolonged withdrawal from training and changes to the technique that may affect rowing outcomes.

Methods:We reviewed a case series in a national rowing squad and the effect on time loss produced by the condition. We reviewed the pathophysiology. We revisited the aggressive operative management put forward in the 1960s and applied it to modern rowing workload by reviewing a retrospective case series of six international rowers who had early surgical intervention.

Results: Approximately 5% of the squad suffered intersection syndrome during a 3-year period. The effect on training time was between 20% and 40% of their training time in the period. Using our understanding of the pathology as a true tendinitis of the second wrist compartment caused by fascial compression from hypertrophied first compartment muscles, we advocated earlier surgery and almost immediate return to training, which occurred at a median of 7 days postsurgery. We had successful return in five of six rowers in an accelerated programme to minimise muscle wasting and technique modification caused by the condition, achieving career goals in a matter of weeks after surgical intervention.

Conclusions: We encourage early surgical management of intersection syndrome of the wrist to allow almost immediate return to training, and therefore interfere less with technique modification and time out of the water. This minimises career disruption in the elite rowing community.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:rowing, wrist pain, injury
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Sports medicine
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:Trease, L (Dr Larissa Trease)
ID Code:141966
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2020-12-05
Last Modified:2020-12-09

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