DOI: 10.1177/15589447231219711 ISSN: 1558-9447

Admission of Upper Extremity Injuries Presenting to the Emergency Department: An NEISS Study

Michael D. Eckhoff, Brandon T. Schwartz, Soham B. Parikh, Matthew E. Wells, Sean C. Brugman
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


Upper extremity injuries account for 36.5% of presentations to the emergency department in the United States. This study seeks to determine current rates of upper extremity injuries that present to the emergency department and the injury characteristics of patients requiring admission.


National Electronic Injury Surveillance System was queried for a 10-year period for upper extremity injuries. Further analysis was done to evaluate specific patient demographics, injury characteristics, and mechanisms of injury of those patients who were admitted to the hospital.


Between 2012 and 2021, 39 160 365 persons are estimated to have presented to 100 United States emergency departments for managing upper extremity injuries, accounting for 28.8% of total presentations. A total of 12 662 041 upper extremity patients were pediatric (32.3%). Admissions occurred in 4.6% of presentations. The most common presenting diagnosis was laceration (24.9%), while the most common admission diagnosis was fracture (49.7%). The majority had injuries involving their forearms (19.9%). The most common injury-associated consumer product group was stairs, ramps, landings, and floors at 28.5%. Of the 445 644 patients, those estimated to have been injured by stairs, ramps, landings, and floors adults were 429 435 or 96.4%. The most common injury-associated product in pediatric populations was playground equipment (23.6%), of which 53.7% was from monkey bars and other climbing apparatuses.


This study demonstrates an overall increase in admissions for upper extremity injuries in the setting of similar rates of overall upper extremity injuries with fractures and forearm being the most common diagnosis and body part involved, respectively.

Level of Evidence:

IV; Database

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