Injuries Caused by Small Wheel Devices

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Abstract

We wanted to look for characteristics in injuries caused by rollerblades, skateboards and unmotorized kick scooters in order to recommend more targeted injury prevention. From September 2000 we did a two-year prospective registration of all small wheel device injuries attending Bergen Accident and Emergency Department's surgical unit. We registered a total of 273 injuries, and found an obvious difference in injury pattern between the three. Rollerbladers were more prone to fractures in their hands and arms, especially distal radial fractures, but also scaphoid fractures. This fracture is seldom in children, but not in child injuries caused by small wheel devices. Skateboarders were susceptible to ankle sprains and had the lowest injury severity among the three activities. Kick scooter users got mostly wound injuries, but had a high frequency of distal radial fractures with volar angulation, the Smith-type of fracture. There were also differences in user groups; 2/3 of injured rollerbladers were boys, mostly aged 12, a typical, injured skateboarder was a young male aged 13, and an injured kick scooter user was either an 11-year-old girl or boy. The use of effective wrist braces could have prevented most injuries in both rollerblading and kickscootering. Due to the high susceptibility of small wheel devices to uneven grounds resulting in falls, these activities should be prohibited in traffic and darkness. Preventive advice should preferably reach children aged 11 to 13.

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