HealthWatch: Trampoline Warning

boneINDIANAPOLIS — Trampolines caused 288,876 broken bones, most in children, from 2002 to 2012 according to researchers. The analysis by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine says “hospital emergency rooms received more than 1 million visits from people injured in trampoline accidents during those 10 years, boosting the emergency room bills to just over $1 billion.”

The Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics published the study online.

Researchers say this study is the first to” analyze trampoline fracture patterns in a large population drawn from a national database.”

The study’s lead author, Randall T. Loder, M.D., chair of the IU School of Medicine Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and a surgeon at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health says “This gives us an idea of the magnitude of the problem across the country.”

Data comes from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Research authors asy that “collects data from a sample of 100 hospitals across the country. Using statistical techniques, they estimated there were just over 1 million emergency department visits, with 288,876 of them involving fractures.”

Of the injuries, 60 percent were fractures to fingers, hands, forearms and elbows. If the break was in the lower part of the body, it was usually to the tibia, fibula and ankles.

Researchers found “just over 4 percent involved fractures to the axial skeleton, including the spine, head, and ribs and sternum. An estimated 2,807 spinal fractures were reported during the period studied.” Researchers note that the number of spine injuries is fewer than expected.

They also found 16 years is the average age of those spine injuries.