Orthopaedic Injuries from All-Terrain Vehicles: An Epidemiological Account and Review of Legislation


All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are an ongoing source of orthopaedic trauma in the United States. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database was queried for ATV-related extremity trauma from 2010 to 2019. An estimated 31,979 ATV-related injuries present to emergency departments annually without significant variability between years. Patients were predominantly white (63.5%), male (72.2%), and aged 18 – 44 (49.9%). Injury sites frequently included the shoulder (24%), wrist (12.8%), and ankle (11.2%). Fractures were most common followed by strains and sprains. Only 15.5% of injuries occurred on public land. Alcohol use was rarely implicated. Orthopaedic surgeons should be aware that rates of ATV-related musculoskeletal injuries have not changed significantly over the last ten years despite legislative efforts to improve ATV safety. Additionally, safety laws are inconsistent across the US, and many apply to the use of ATVs on public land when a minority of injuries occur on non-public land. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 32(4):225–231, 2023)

Key words: all-terrain vehicles (ATV), trauma, epidemiology

SKU: JSOA-2023-32-4-FA-2 Categories: , Tags: , ,

Alexis Sandler, MD1; John Dunn, MD; Adam Adler, MD; Austin Fares, MD; and John Scanaliato, MD