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VOLUME 5 , ISSUE 2 ( August, 2010 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Peak incidence of distal radius fractures due to ice skating on natural ice in The Netherlands

Arno P. W. van Lieshout, Christiaan J. van Manen, Karel J. du Pré, Ydo V. Kleinlugtenbelt, Rudolf W. Poolman, J. Carel Goslings, Peter Kloen

Keywords : Distal radius fractures, Ice skating

Citation Information : van Lieshout AP, van Manen CJ, du Pré KJ, Kleinlugtenbelt YV, Poolman RW, Goslings JC, Kloen P. Peak incidence of distal radius fractures due to ice skating on natural ice in The Netherlands. 2010; 5 (2):65-69.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-010-0087-7

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 31-08-2010

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2010; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


An increase of distal radius fractures was seen in 2009 when an extended cold spell allowed natural ice skating in Amsterdam. This resulted in overload of our Emergency Departments and operating rooms. This study reports patient and fracture characteristics of these injuries. We also determined potential skating-related risk factors. All patients who sustained a distal radius fracture during natural ice skating between January 3 and January 12, 2009 were included. Patient and fracture characteristics, treatment, validated outcome (Quick DASH) at 3 months after injury were determined. Natural ice skating accounted for a 5.5-fold increase of distal radius fractures (92 fractures) compared to a similar time period without natural ice skating in 2008. Fracture types were AO-type A, n = 50, type B, n = 11 and type C, n = 31. Twenty-eight patients were casted without reduction. Fifty-four patients underwent at least one reduction before casting. The non-operative group consisted of 67 patients (68 fractures, male/female 18/49) with an average age of 55.5 years. Twenty-three patients (24 fractures) underwent internal fixation. Quick DASH for the whole group was a mean of 23.1 points (range 0–95). The mean Quick DASH for the non-operatively treated group was 19.9 points (range 0–95), for the operatively treated group 31.7 points (range 2–65). Distal radius fractures increased 5.5-fold during a period with natural ice skating. Women aged 50 and over were predominantly affected. Most fractures were extra-articular, and the vast majority was treated non-operatively. Utilization of wrist-protecting devices should be considered during future natural ice periods.

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