Hospitalization due to horse-related injuries: Has anything changed? A 25 year survey

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Background: Horse riding and horse handling are dangerous. There is a lack of knowledge concerning the incidence of hospitalization due to horse-related injuries and types of injuries in Israel. During the last two decades we have observed an increasing incidence of hospitalizations due to horse-related injuries at our medical center as well as the frequent involvement of pediatric patients. Objectives: To investigate these injuries with respect to type, incidence and modes of prevention. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of medical records for all patients admitted to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center due to horse-related injury between January 1984 and December 2008. A telephone questionnaire was used to complete the data. Results: Eighty-nine subjects (267 injuries) were included in the study. Most of them were not professional horse riders or horse handlers. Helmet use was reported in only 28% of the participants. The number of subjects with horserelated injuries and the percentage of pediatric involvement increased during the study period. Falling from a horse was the most frequent cause of injury (60.67%), followed by being kicked (13.4%). Head and extremities were the most affected areas. On admission, 33.7% had a potential severe injury score. Forty-two participants (47%) had underlying fractures, mostly in the upper extremities. In the pediatric population, 16.2% (vs. 0% adults) rode horses for therapeutic reasons. Seventeen subjects reported having long-term consequences. Conclusions: The findings are similar to those described in other parts of the world. Horseback riding-related injuries are increasing, which emphasizes the need for safety education programs in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-172
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Equestrian
  • Fracture
  • Helmet
  • Horse
  • Injury


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