Spine injuries associated with falls from hunting tree stands.
Spinal injuries resulting from falls out of tree stands are often associated with concomitant neurologic deficit, prolonged hospitalization, and long-term disability. The purpose of this study was to review the types of spinal injuries that resulted from falls from hunting tree stands. We retrospectively reviewed 27 patients who came to our institution for treatment of spine injuries related to tree-stand accidents between 1981 and 1997. Eleven percent of the falls were alcohol related. Mean height of the fall was 19.6 feet (range, 10 to 35 feet). There were 17 burst fractures, 8 wedge compression fractures, 4 fractures involving the posterior elements, and 1 coronal fracture of the sacral body. Significant neurologic injury occurred in 12 patients (44%). Sixteen patients (59%) had associated injuries. Nine patients (33%) had open reduction, internal fixation, and fusion of their spine fractures. One patient was treated with a halo jacket. The remaining patients were treated in rigid, molded, polypropylene thoracolumbar orthoses or lumbosacral corsets. Accidental falls from tree stands may result in significant spinal fractures often associated with concomitant neurologic injury, extended hospitalization, and permanent disability. Many of these injuries may be prevented through aggressive hunter safety education.
Crites, BM; Moorman, CT; Hardaker, WT
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)