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Am J Sports Med. 2005 Apr;33(4):568-73. Epub 2005 Feb 8.

Pediatric fractures during skateboarding, roller skating, and scooter riding.

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Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics, Women's & Children's Hospital, Room 3L-31, 1240 North Mission Road, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.



Skateboarding, roller skating, and scooter riding are popular recreational and sporting activities for children and adolescents but can be associated with skeletal injury. The purpose of this study is to describe the frequency and characteristics of fractures resulting from these activities.


Fractures from skateboarding, roller skating, and scooter riding compose a considerable proportion of pediatric musculoskeletal injuries.


Case series; Level of evidence, 4.


Demographic data and injury characteristics were analyzed for all patients who presented to the pediatric fracture clinic of the level I trauma center from January 2001 to May 2002 after sustaining fractures due to skateboarding, roller skating, and scooter riding.


Among a total of 2371 fractures, the authors identified 325 fractures (13.7%) that occurred during one of these activities. There were 187 patients (mean age, 13 years; 95% male) who sustained 191 skateboard-related fractures, 64 patients (mean age, 10.8 years; 54% male) who sustained 65 fractures while roller skating, and 66 patients (mean age, 9.7 years; 64% male) who sustained 69 fractures while riding a scooter. The forearm was fractured most often, composing 48.2% of skate-boarding fractures, 63.1% of roller-skating fractures, and 50.7% of fractures due to scooter riding. Of the forearm fractures, 94% were located in the distal third. In the skateboarding group, 10 of 191 (5.2%) fractures were open injuries of the forearm, compared to 6 of 2046 (0.3%) fractures caused by other mechanisms of injury (significant odds ratio, 18.8).


Skateboarding, roller-skating, and scooter-riding accidents result in a large proportion of pediatric fractures. An open fracture, especially of the forearm, was more likely to be caused by skateboarding than by other mechanisms of injury. Use of wrist and forearm protective equipment should be considered in all children who ride a skateboard.

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