Objective: To assess the type and site of injuries associated with in-line skating in patients encountered during an 18-month period.
Design: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients in our emergency department and Sports Medicine Center with injuries that had resulted from in-line skating between July 1992 and December 1993.
Material and methods: A computer search was conducted to identify medical records on which in-line skating was denoted as the mechanism of injury. The records were then manually reviewed to confirm that the injury had occurred during in-line skating. The patient's sex, age, type of injury, and injured body part were recorded.
Results: During the designated study period, 32 in-line skating injuries were recorded in 32 patients (19 female and 13 male skaters). The mean age of the study group of injured skaters was 17 years (range, 6 to 46). An upper extremity was involved in 78% of all injuries, and the wrist was the body part most often injured (56%). A lower extremity was involved in 16% of all injuries, including two that were severe. Of the 32 injuries, 62% were fractures, and surgical treatment was necessary for only 1 injury during the study period.
Conclusion: In this study, in-line skating injuries most commonly involved the upper extremities. Fractures, particularly of the distal radius, were the most common type of injury. Lower extremity trauma was less frequent, but severe injuries can occur. Further prospective studies are needed.