Presentation Abstract

Session: 766-780-Sports Medicine/Arthroscopy VII
Date/Time: Friday, Mar 14, 2014, 4:00 PM - 4:06 PM
Location Theater A
Presentation Number: Paper 766
Title: Incidence of Head and Neck Injuries in Extreme Sports
Classification: +Head (Sports Med/Arthro)
Keywords: Injuries; Education
Author(s): Vinay K. Sharma, Portage, Michigan
Juan N. Rango, BS, Belmont, Michigan
Alexander Connaughton, Wayland, Massachusetts
Vani J. Sabesan, MD, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Since their conception during the mid 1970s, international participation in extreme sports has steadily grown. While many traditional sports have declined in participation, skateboarding has surged 49%, to 14 million U.S. participants and snowboarding now claims 7.2 million participants, up 51% from 1999. The recent death of extreme snowmobiler Caleb Moore at 2013 Winter X games has demonstrated the serious risks associated with these sports. Head and neck injuries (HNI) can be significantly devastating injuries but the incidence and prevalence of these types of injuries in extreme sports has not been examined.
METHODS: The 2000-2011 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) was used to acquire data for seven popular sports that are included in the Winter and Summer X games. Data from the NEISS database was collected for each individual sport per year and type of HNI. Cumulative data for overall incidence and injuries over entire 11-year period was then calculated. National estimates were based off NEISS weighted calculations using U.S. census data.
RESULTS: Of the over 4 million injuries reported for extreme sports participants between 2000-2011, 11.3% were HNI. Of all HNI reported in extreme sports, 83% were head injuries and 17% neck injuries. The four sports with the highest total incidence of reported HNI were skateboarding (129,600), snowboarding (97,527), skiing (83,313) and motocross (78,236). Severe HNI (cervical or skull fracture) had a reported total incidence of 2.5% of extreme sports HNI. Although the incidence of extreme sports HNI increased from year 2000 (34,065) to 2010 (40,042), this trend is not consistent from year to year.
CONCLUSIONS: Participation in extreme sports offers thrills not found in traditional team sports, but also comes with a significant risk to participants. The number of serious injuries suffered in extreme sports has increased as participation in the sports continues to grow. Severity, incidence and consequences of these injuries are largely understudied. A greater awareness of the dangers associated with these sports offer an opportunity for sports medicine and orthopaedic physicians to advocate for safer equipment, improved on site medical care and further research regarding extreme sports injuries.

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