An analysis of roller skating injuries

Am J Sports Med. 1982 Jan-Feb;10(1):24-30. doi: 10.1177/036354658201000107.


This study retrospectively examines 186 patients treated for roller skating-related injuries. The average patient age was 25.3 years, with males comprising 44% and females 56% of the patients. Of the 202 injuries, there were 130 fractures and 72 soft tissue injuries. The majority of the injuries involved the wrist (47%), while the elbow ranked second (14%) and the ankle third (10%). All fractures of the tibia-fibula and ankle involved a rotational mechanism, with 75% of ankle fractures involving the posterior malleolus. Ankle fractures accounted for 46% of all surgical cases. Although inexperienced skaters were involved in 77% of all accidents, experienced skaters' injuries required surgery twice as often. Female roller skaters were more frequently injured, but males had three times more operations. Over 90% of the skaters wore no protection. Skaters who seldom participated in other sports had a higher probability of being injured earlier, especially on their first try. This study indicates that roller skating injuries are influenced by skating experience, surface texture, skate type and quality, and protective equipment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Elbow Injuries
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protective Devices
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skating*
  • Sports*
  • United States
  • Wrist Injuries / epidemiology