International Orthopaedics

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 743–746 | Cite as

Skating on thin ice: a study of the injuries sustained at a temporary ice skating rink

  • Lynne V. BarrEmail author
  • Samirul Imam
  • John R. Crawford
  • P. Julian Owen
Original Paper


In recent years, ice skating and temporary ice skating rinks have become increasingly popular. Regular elite competitors are known to be at risk of both acute and chronic injuries. It may be postulated that skaters at the temporary rinks are at high risk of acute injuries from falls due to both their lack of expertise and the inherent dangers of ice skating. Injuries sustained at skating rinks present a significant burden to local healthcare resources, in particular orthopaedic departments. For the first time, Cambridge hosted such a facility from November 24, 2007 through January 6, 2008. We sought to identify the most common injuries encountered and to quantify the orthopaedic burden. All Emergency Department or Fracture Clinic attendances for an eight-week period from the opening of the rink were investigated. Details of age, sex, injury and management were recorded for the 84 patients who sustained ice rink related injuries. A total of 85 injuries were recorded in 84 patients. Of these injuries 58% were fractures, of which 98% involved the upper limbs. Seven patients (8% of all injuries) required admission for operative fixation. On average, two injuries per day were seen in the Emergency Department or Fracture Clinic, with an average of one orthopaedic admission per week. It is evident that the ice rink in Cambridge has had an impact on local healthcare resources. The vast majority of injuries affected the upper limbs and were sustained following a fall on the out-stretched hand. We therefore encourage the education of skaters as to how to break their falls more safely and recommend the use of wrist protectors as a primary preventative measure.


Distal Radius Fracture Acute Injury Open Reduction Internal Fixation Figure Skater Wrist Protector 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynne V. Barr
    • 1
    Email author
  • Samirul Imam
    • 1
  • John R. Crawford
    • 1
  • P. Julian Owen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Trauma & OrthopaedicsAddenbrooke’s HospitalCambridgeUK

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