Epidemiological and clinical features of an older high-risk population of skateboarders

Injury. 2013 May;44(5):645-9. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2012.01.022. Epub 2012 Apr 3.


Background: Skateboard injuries have been described in the media and scientific journals as a problem prevalent among children and adolescents. Skateboarding popularity has continued to grow since the 1970s with ridership increasing to include all age groups. Recently, surgeons at one trauma centre at an urban hospital noted an increase in the number of older skateboarders with life-threatening injuries. We hypothesise that the clinical and epidemiological features of skateboard-related injuries from one trauma centre (TC) will be different from injured skateboarders identified in the U.S. National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB). We also sought to identify factors related to poor outcomes in the TC and NTDB patient groups.

Methods: Two injured skateboarder patient groups were identified and compared using proportional morbidity odds ratios (PMORs) and multivariable methods to estimate differences among factors common to both groups of patients. Clinical and demographic features were evaluated for hospital admitted patients injured whilst riding a skateboard. Chi-square tests, PMORs and logistic regression were used to determine outcome differences between patients in both groups.

Results: Patients in the TC group were on average older, with higher Injury Severity Scores (ISS), more head injuries requiring neurosurgical intervention, longer ICU and hospital stays, and injured more frequently on local streets than patients in the NTDB series. Poor outcomes in the TC group were related to moderate or severe head injuries and presence of a head/face injury. For NTDB patients, a GCS of <13, a head/face injury and an ISS of 25+ were related to poor outcomes.

Conclusions: From our Trauma Centre we describe an older injured skateboarding population, clinically and epidemiologically different from injured patients identified in the NTDB as well as those described in the literature. The greater severity of injury, including traumatic brain injury, has direct implications for preventive and educational measures and the planning of emergency surgical response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology*
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / prevention & control
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / therapy
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Head Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Maxillofacial Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Maxillofacial Injuries / prevention & control
  • Maxillofacial Injuries / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Skating / injuries*
  • United States / epidemiology