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Fractures From Trampolines: Results From a National Database, 2002 to 2011

Loder, Randall T. MD*,†; Schultz, William BS*,†; Sabatino, Meagan BA, CCRP*,†

doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000000189

Background: No study specifically analyzes trampoline fracture patterns across a large population. The purpose of this study was to determine such patterns.

Methods: We queried the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database for trampoline injuries between 2002 and 2011, and the patients were analyzed by age, sex, race, anatomic location of the injury, geographical location of the injury, and disposition from the emergency department (ED). Statistical analyses were performed with SUDAAN 10 software. Estimated expenses were determined using 2010 data.

Results: There were an estimated 1,002,735 ED visits for trampoline-related injuries; 288,876 (29.0%) sustained fractures. The average age for those with fractures was 9.5 years; 92.7% were aged 16 years or younger; 51.7% were male, 95.1% occurred at home, and 9.9% were admitted. The fractures were located in the upper extremity (59.9%), lower extremity (35.7%), and axial skeleton (spine, skull/face, rib/sternum) (4.4%—spine 1.0%, skull/face 2.9%, rib/sternum 0.5%). Those in the axial skeleton were older (16.5 y) than the upper extremity (8.7 y) or lower extremity (10.0 y) (P<0.0001) and more frequently male (67.9%). Lower extremity fractures were more frequently female (54.0%) (P<0.0001). The forearm (37%) and elbow (19%) were most common in the upper extremity; elbow fractures were most frequently admitted (20.0%). The tibia/fibula (39.5%) and ankle (31.5%) were most common in the lower extremity; femur fractures were most frequently admitted (57.9%). Cervical (36.4%) and lumbar (24.7%) were most common locations in the spine; cervical fractures were the most frequently admitted (75.6%). The total ED expense for all trampoline injuries over this 10-year period was $1.002 billion and $408 million for fractures.

Conclusions: Trampoline fractures most frequently involve the upper extremity followed by the lower extremity, >90% occur in children. The financial burden to society is large. Further efforts for prevention are needed.

*Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Indiana School of Medicine, Indiana University

The James Whitcomb Riley Children’s Hospital, Indianapolis, IN

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Randall T. Loder, MD, James Whitcomb Riley Children’s Hospital, ROC 4250, 705 Riley Hospital Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46202. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins