Musculoskeletal Injuries Resulting from Use of Hoverboards: Safety Concerns With an Unregulated Consumer Product

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Abstract

Hoverboards were recently introduced to the US consumer market and experienced rapid popularity. Given the high frequency of musculoskeletal injury with other wheeled recreation devices, we sought to analyze hoverboard injuries in children. A retrospective review of patients with musculoskeletal injury related to hoverboard use was performed at a tertiary care children’s hospital. From November 2015 to January 2016, 2.3% of all fractures were related to hoverboards. Common injury mechanisms were fall (79%) and finger entrapment between wheel and wheel-well (10%). The most frequently fractured sites included the distal radius (43%) and phalanx (17%). Common surgical procedures were nailbed repair and pinning for Seymour fracture and percutaneous pinning for distal radius fracture. There exists high risk for distal radius fractures from falls and phalanx fractures from finger entrapment between the wheel and wheel-well. Hoverboard safety can be improved with regular use of wrist guards and improved wheel-well design.

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