Nervous system injuries in horseback-riding accidents

J Trauma. 1993 Feb;34(2):227-32. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199302000-00008.


A review of 156 horseback-riding accidents that occurred in southern Alberta over a 6-year period and resulted in nervous system trauma, including 11 deaths, is presented. The majority (81%) of accidents occurred during recreational activity and 81% were associated with falling or being thrown from a horse. Head injury occurred in 92% of patients and accounted for all of the 11 deaths. Spinal injury occurred in 13% of the patients and was associated with head injury in 40%. One peripheral nerve injury was identified. Helmets were used by only two victims. The 11 deaths that occurred as a consequence of severe head injury accounted for 79% of all deaths associated with horseback riding. This profile of neurologic injuries associated with horse-related accidents supports a need for use of protective headgear.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alberta / epidemiology
  • Animals
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology*
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Head Protective Devices
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recreation
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / epidemiology*