Emergency medicine

Spinal fractures from high-speed powerboating

Gordian Fulde, Kate Sellors



Vertebral compression fractures are a risk in high-speed boating and should be considered in a patient presenting with back pain after having been adventure jet boating.

Article Extract

One of the advantages of doing regular shifts as a GP in an emergency department in a major hospital is that you become part of the whole team. This includes discussing cases and hearing and aiding the research and audits that are a large part of emergency medicine training and practice.

Recently you reviewed a CT scan of the thoracolumbar spine and mentioned to the emergency medicine registrar that the patient was another tourist who had major back pain from a powerboat hitting a wave. The registrar said that she had recently looked after two sisters from the USA with such injuries. Overhearing this, a couple of the other doctors also remembered similar cases.