Hay balers' fractures

J Trauma. 1984 Mar;24(3):271-3.


Two cases of fractures of the sternum and T12 vertebra are presented, which appear to be a characteristic combination of injuries to farmers when hay bales fall on them. The mechanism of injury proposed is a severe forward flexion, producing vertebral collapse at the dorsolumbar junction, and fracture of the sternum from direct trauma against the steering wheel. These fractures should always be suspected in persons injured while baling hay. It is proposed to call this complex of injuries hay balers' fractures. Preventive measures suggested are: operator caution when hay bales are lifted; addition of locks to the loader forks; increasing the size of the loader, or placing a screen or cage over the operators to keep hay bales from falling on them.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Sternum / injuries*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / injuries*