Soccer Goalie Hand Injuries

soccer goalie hand injuries
Soccer goalie hand injury

Congratulations to the French National Football Team on their victory over Croatia in the World Cup Final! With World Cup excitement in the air, I thought it would be a good time to discuss soccer goalies. When most people think about soccer, they think feet. After all, it’s in the correct name for the sport– football! I, however, naturally focus on the hands.

The goalies’ job is to protect the goal by whatever means possible. They sacrifice their whole body to block balls fired at them at incredible speed. Since goalies can legally use their hands, their hands, wrists, forearms and shoulders are at high risk for injury as they dive to keep the ball out of the net.

In today’s post, I’d like to talk about the types of injuries soccer goalies sustain to their hands, wrists and forearms, what to do when that happens, and how to prevent them.

Finger, Wrist and Forearm Injuries

Soccer is, like all field sports, a contact sport. Injuries include bruises, fractures, dislocations, and breaks. For goalkeepers, here are a few risks I’ll focus on:

Finger Injuries

Injuries to their fingers are one of the most common ways soccer goalies are hurt. The most frequent injury happens as a result of the ball hitting the fingers and forcing them to jam or bend incorrectly. Fingers might also be stepped on, smashed by another player, or slammed into the goal post.

Wrist Fractures

Fractures to the radius bone can happen when the hand is driven backwards towards the wrist. This happens most often when trying to make a save on a direct shot. Radius bone fractures are commonly seen in adolescent goalkeepers.

If you or your goalie injures their fingers, hand, or wrist, remember RICE …

What to do for Soccer Goalie Hand Injuries

If you or your goal keeper injures their fingers, hand, or wrist, remember RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. To avoid further injury, stop. Ice the injury. Immobilize the injured finger or the wrist. Keep it elevated. If there is any doubt about the severity of the injury, see a doctor as soon as possible.

goalie-specific exercises and drills will strengthen fingers and hands.

How to Protect Against Soccer Goalie Hand Injuries

The best way for goalies to protect themselves from future injuries is to tape their fingers and wear gloves to protect them. In addition, incorporating goalie-specific exercises with a medicine ball as well as throwing and catching drills will strengthen fingers and hands.

Also, playing with age-appropriate balls and having older players exercise caution when shooting on younger goalkeepers can help reduce hand injuries and radius fractures in practice.

The sports medicine physicians & physical therapy specialists at Pontchartrain Orthopedics & Sports Medicine can create a training program to help players strengthen and protect themselves from common sports injuries.

Consult with a Specialist

Whether you’re a soccer player or not, your hands are under enormous stress and strain on a regular basis.

If you or someone you know has an injured finger, hand or wrist, contact us today to learn more about the treatment options that will get you back on the field.


This site is not intended to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this website and links to other websites, Brandon P. Donnelly, MD provides general information for educational purposes only. The content provided in this website and links, is not a substitute for medical care or treatment. You should not use this information in place of a consultation or the advice of your healthcare provider. Brandon P. Donnelly, MD is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site.