This study in Norway surveys a relatively closed population of 227,250 inhabitants (47,750 below the age of 16) for childhood fractures to define both high-risk groups and high-risk-activities. The number of fracture in the year 1998 was recorded, questionnaires completed, and analyzed.
The overall incidence was 245 fractures per 10,000 children. Boys sustained 59% of the fractures. Soccer lead to the most fractures, although this is related to the commonality of this sport. The percent of fractures related to the total number of injuries associated with each activity revealed a doubled risk of fracture when rollerblating, skateboarding, or snowboarding.
Fractures of the distal radius were the most common site, involving 27% of all fractures. Fractures of the hand and wrist were the next most common. Scaphoid fractures occurred in 17 patients and were the most common carpal fracture. Rollerblades/skateboards accounted for 6 fractures. The authors compared their data with other incidence series and noted certain similarities and differences. The type of fracture is related to the predominant sport in each region. Rollerblading and snowboarding cause a preponderance of upper extremity injuries. Distal radius fractures and scaphoid fractures are especially common.
The authors postulate “preventive measures” such as patient education and wrist guards. Unfortunately, the studies concerning wrist guard protection are confusing without definitive evidence to prove their worthiness. Nonetheless, it would be logical to assume that wrist guards are of some benefit in protection of the wrist following trauma.
J Ped Orthop 23:629-634, 2003.