Objective: To describe the mechanism, location and types of injury for all patients treated for trampoline-associated injuries at St Olav’s University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway, from March 2001to October 2004.
Materials and methods: Patients were identified from a National Injury Surveillance System. All patients were asked to complete a standard questionnaire at their first visit at the hospital. Most data were recorded prospectively, but data on the mechanism of injury, the number of participants on the trampoline at the time of injury, adult supervision and whether the activity occurred at school or in another organised setting were collected retrospectively.
Results: A total of 556 patients, 56% male and 44% female, were included. The mean age of patients was 11 (range 1–62) years. 77% of the injuries occurred on the body of the trampoline, including falls on to the mat, collisions with another jumper, falls on to the frame or the springs, and performing a somersault, whereas 22% of the people fell off the trampoline. In 74% of the cases, more than two people were on the trampoline, with as many as nine trampolinists noted at the time of injury. For children <11 years, 22% had adult supervision when the injury occurred. The most common types of injuries were fractures (36%) and injury to ligaments (36%). Injuries to the extremities predominated (79%), and the lower extremities were the most commonly injured part of the body (44%). A ligament injury in the ankle was the most often reported diagnosis (20%), followed by an overstretching of ligaments in the neck (8%) and a fracture of the elbow (7%). Regarding cervical injuries, two patients had cervical fractures and one patient had an atlantoaxial subluxation. Three patients with fractures in the elbow region reported an ulnar nerve neuropathy. 13% of the patients were hospitalised for a mean of 2.2 days.
Conclusion: Trampolining can cause serious injuries, especially in the neck and elbow areas of young children. The use of a trampoline is a high-risk activity. However, a ban is not supported. The importance of having safety guidelines for the use of trampolines is emphasised.
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Published Online First 25 September 2006
Competing interests: None declared.
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