Self-inflicted splenic injury in snowboarders: postural analysis of forward falls of 10 consecutive patients

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Splenic injuries are often caused when snowboarders thrust their abdomens with their own left elbows after falling and hitting the ground. We report 10 snowboarders who suffered a splenic injury by accidentally thrusting their own elbow against their abdomen upon falling to the ground. Clinical presentation, postural analysis, and treatment are described. In an attempt to break the force while falling, snowboarders assumed 1 of 2 defensive postures that subsequently induced splenic injury: falling with an outstretched hand or falling with folded arms placed closely to the chest, that is, the fetal tuck posture. Snowboarders who fell in the outstretched hand posture developed more severe symptoms than those who fell in the fetal tuck posture. Herein, we discuss the mechanisms of such snowboarding-related splenic injury in detail and provide a review of the literature.

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