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Pediatric orthopaedic surgeons show age-related patterns of spine injury in ATV injuries
Date:1/31/2013

n (1.8 injuries per child) over a five-year span.

The physicians reviewed records and radiographs of children and adolescents who presented to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. with injuries from ATV accidents. The children had an average age of 15.7 years; 16 (or 55 percent) had associated nonspine injuries and 13 had multiple spine injuries, contiguous in nine and noncontiguous in four.

Four patients, all younger than age 15, had neurological injuries. Children older than 16 had significantly lower pediatric trauma scores and were more likely to have a thoracic spine fracture than younger children. Younger children were more likely to have a lumbar fracture.

Fourteen patients required surgery for their injuries; seven for spine injuries and seven for nonspine injuries.

This study was the lead article in the July/August 2012 issue of The Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. Their conclusions were:

  • ATV-related spine injuries in children and adolescents are high-energy injuries with a high rate of associated spine and non-spine injuries.
  • ATV-related spine injuries are different from other ATV-related injuries in children in that they are more common in older children and females.
  • Musculoskeletal injuries are the most common ATV-related injuries in children; orthopaedic surgeons need to be aware of these differences
  • Orthopaedic surgeons should have a high index of suspicion for associated injuries, including additional and often noncontiguous spine injuries.

"Parents need to know that ATVs are not toys but motor vehicles, which can weigh more than 500 pounds. Unlike motor vehicles they lack safety features such as airbags. If you wouldn't let your 12-year-old drive the car then why would you let them operate an ATV? We all too frequently see children unnecessarily severely injured and killed on ATVs," said Sawyer.


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Contact: Sara Burnett
sara.burnett@lebonheur.org
901-287-5162
Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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