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Rodeo Catastrophic Injuries and Registry: Initial Retrospective and Prospective Report

Butterwick, Dale J MSc, CAT(C)*; Lafave, Mark R PhD, CAT(C); Lau, Breda H F MSc, CAT(C); Freeman, Tandy MD

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: May 2011 - Volume 21 - Issue 3 - p 243-248
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e318218acdd
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Objective: To introduce the Rodeo Catastrophic Injury Registry (RCIR) and quantify the nature and incidence of catastrophic injury and fatality in rodeo participants across North America.

Design: Retrospective and prospective collection of catastrophic and fatal injury data in rodeo using an online registry (RCIR).

Setting: Canada and the United States.

Participants: North American rodeo competitors.

Assessment of Risk Factors: Age, gender, level of competition, rodeo event, mechanism of injury, and use of protective equipment.

Main Outcome Measures: Frequency, incidence, and nature of catastrophic injuries and fatalities among rodeo participants.

Results: The incidence rate of catastrophic injury from 1989 to 2009 was 9.45 per 100 000 (49/518 286). The incidence rate of catastrophic injury during the 2007-2009 study period was 19.81 per 100 000 (19/95 892). The incidence rate of fatality from 1989 to 2009 was 4.05 per 100 000 (21/518 286). The incidence rate of fatality for the 2007-2009 study period was 7.29 per 100 000 (7/95 892).

Conclusions: Thoracic compression mechanisms of injury are most pervasive and likely to be fatal in rodeo and bull riding. It is unknown whether rodeo protective vests have a protective effect in reducing catastrophic and fatal injuries. On the contrary, helmet use in bull riding and rodeo events seems to have a protective effect in reducing both catastrophic injury and fatality.

From the *Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; †Department of Physical Education and Recreational Studies, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and ‡Texas Orthopedic Associates, Dallas, Texas.

Submitted for publication October 27, 2010; accepted March 3, 2011.

Supported by the Friends of Pro Rodeo, Edmonton, Alberta, based not-for-profit society.

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Corresponding Author: Dale J. Butterwick, MSc, CAT(C), Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada (butterwi@ucalgary.ca).

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.