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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 4, Issue 3, 2003

Volume 4 Issue 3 2003


Factors Influencing Analgesic Use for Skatepark-Related Musculoskeletal Injuries

Objective: This study was designed to determine the proportion of patients with skatepark-related musculoskeletal injuries who were administered analgesics in the emergency department (ED) or at discharge, and to determine if differences in use of pain medication varied by injury type, anatomic location, or patient age. Methods: This is a retrospective review of a cohort of consecutive patients with musculoskeletal injuries presenting to a large urban ED from a local skatepark over a 1-year period (1999- 2000). Patients with non-musculoskeletal injuries were excluded. The outcome measure was analgesic use either in the ED or at discharge. Data included demographics, activity during injury, disposition, injury type (fracture or non-fracture), and injury location (upper or lower body). Analgesic data was abstracted from the medical records. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of receipt of analgesic medications. Results: 85 injured patients were enrolled. No differences in age, sex, activity, or disposition were found comparing those who received analgesics (n=68) to those who did not (n=17). Overall, analgesia was administered to 80% (95% CI = 70 to 88%) of patients; 67% (95% CI = 56 to 77%) in the ED and 64% (95% CI = 52 to 74%) at discharge. Fractures were more likely to receive analgesia (adjusted OR = 18.5; 95% CI = 4.0 to 86.1) than non-fracture injuries. Lower body injuries were more likely to receive analgesics compared to upper body injuries (adjusted OR = 9.2; 95% CI = 1.5 to 55.8). Age was not independently associated with analgesic use. Conclusions: A high proportion of skatepark-related musculoskeletal injuries were treated with pain medications either in the ED or at discharge. In this study analgesic medication use was influenced by injury type and location of the injury, but not age.