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Open Access Short Report

Skateboards: Are they really perilous? A retrospective study from a district hospital

Ulfin Rethnam1*, Rajam Sheeja Yesupalan2 and Amit Sinha3

Author affiliations

1 Department of Orthopaedics, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, UK

2 Department of Accident & Emergency, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, UK

3 Department of Orthopaedics, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, UK

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Citation and License

BMC Research Notes 2008, 1:59  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-1-59

Published: 31 July 2008

Abstract

Background

Skateboarding has been a popular sport among teenagers even with its attendant associated risks. The literature is packed with articles regarding the perils of skateboards. Is the skateboard as dangerous as has been portrayed?

Methods

This was a retrospective study conducted over a 5 year period. All skateboard related injuries seen in the Orthopaedic unit were identified and data collated on patient demographics, mechanism & location of injury, annual incidence, type of injury, treatment needed including hospitalisation.

Results

We encountered 50 patients with skateboard related injuries. Most patients were males and under the age of 15. The annual incidence has remained low at about 10. The upper limb was predominantly involved with most injuries being fractures. Most injuries occurred during summer. The commonest treatment modality was plaster immobilisation. The distal radius was the commonest bone to be fractured. There were no head & neck injuries, open fractures or injuries requiring surgical intervention.

Conclusion

Despite its negative image among the medical fraternity, the skateboard does not appear to be a dangerous sport with a low incidence and injuries encountered being not severe. Skateboarding should be restricted to supervised skateboard parks and skateboarders should wear protective gear. These measures would reduce the number of skateboarders injured in motor vehicle collisions, reduce the personal injuries among skateboarders, and reduce the number of pedestrians injured in collisions with skateboarders.