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n International SportMed Journal - Localisation and pattern of spine fractures caused by horse riding-related accidents : original research article
Background : In the present study localisation and pattern of spinal fractures due to horse riding-related accidents were analysed.
Research question : What is the most common mechanism of accidents of equine-related spinal fractures?
Type of study : A retrospective review of patients who underwent spinal surgery due to horse riding-related accidents over a time-span of 10 years.
Methods : In consideration of ethics commissions, as well as data protection officers' requirements, data of equine-related spinal injuries were collected from the medical information and imaging systems.
Results : Forty-seven spine fractures were found in 45 patients. 40 patients (88.9%) were female and 5 (11.1%) were male. The median age at the time of injury was 38 years (range 15 - 74 years). Over 80% of the fractures (n=38) were localised between level Th11-L2. Type AO A fractures were found in 40 (85.1%), type B in 4 (8.5%), and type C in one (2.1%) of the cases. In one case (2.1%) a fracture on level C1 was classified as Jefferson III and in another case (2.1%) a fracture on level C2 (odontoid fracture) was classified as Anderson II.
Conclusions : Falling from the horse on the rump is a common mechanism of accident during riding activities. Then, axial forces exerted through the rump and transmitted through the lumbar spine are leading to fractures between Th11 and L2. Therefore the development of new safety vests which protect the thoracolumbar junction is important if the number and severity of spine injuries during riding activities in the future are to be reduced.
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