"Splint-Top" Fracture of the Forearm
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Upper extremity injuries are commonly seen in the sport of in-line skating. The use of protective equipment, including wrist splints, has been advocated as a means to decrease both the incidence and severity of upper extremity injuries in this sport. We report on four cases of open forearm fractures in the in-line skaters that occurred adjacent to the proximal border of the wrist splints. The unusual nature of these injuries and the location of the fractures in relation to the location of the splints suggest that the two may be mechanistically related. The splint and distal forearm may act as a single unit to convert the impact from the level of the wrist to a torque moment, with the fulcrum located at the proximal border of the splint. The energy from the fall is then dissipated by the fracturing of the forearm bones at this level. These cases suggest that the use of wrist splints may be associated with their own specific set of injury patterns.
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