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Editor,—Water jet skiing is a popular international water sport. As yet there is no strict highway code to avoid accidents. We report two severe musculoskeletal injuries associated with this sport.
A 22 year old man presented with backwards and downwards pointed locked arms following bilateral anteroinferior fracture-dislocation of the shoulder with an associated brachial plexus lesion after an injury sustained while water jet skiing. While racing, his 1100 cc engine vehicle was hit by another jet ski from behind. His trunk moved violently forwards towards the front part of the vehicle, while his hands remained holding the handle bars. The momentum of the forward trunk movement forced the shoulders to dislocate anteriorly as the arms stayed behind.
A 34 year old young man sustained right knee dislocation as his jet ski came into the shallows. As the vehicle was turning to the left, the right side came closer to the bottom of the water where the sand was firm, and the front part of the right knee came into contact with the sand. The knee was deformed, the tibial part of the joint being posteriorly displaced. There was no neurovascular injury. The joint was reduced immediately in theatre by a direct pull on the tibia. At a later stage, a complex reconstruction of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments and the lateral/posterolateral corner was performed by a knee specialist.
The accidents described are serious, producing devastating musculoskeletal injury. Although vehicle insurance, licensing, and speed limit are checked by the club where the sport takes place, these cases raise suspicions about the efficiency of current measures and speed control. We recommend that the European water police patrol should implement similar laws to those applied in other countries such as Australia and the United States.
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