RSNA 2004 

Abstract Archives of the RSNA, 2004


Wipeout! The Unique Radiologic Manifestations and Considerations of Board Surfing Related Injuries

Scientific Posters

Presented on November 28, 2004
Presented as part of SSB04: Emergency Radiology


Jeremy Kenji Kuniyoshi MD, Presenter: Nothing to Disclose
Mini Nutan Pathria MD, Abstract Co-Author: Nothing to Disclose
David J Smith MD, Abstract Co-Author: Nothing to Disclose


The purpose of this poster is to demonstrate the characteristic imaging findings associated with surfing injuries.


Case material was gathered retrospectively from a number of coastal sources. A Level 2 trauma center surfing injury survey identified 111 patients. A Level 1 trauma center computer database identified an additional 13 patients via the keyword “surf." Teaching files and solicited cases from interested physicians identified 15 more cases. Injuries were subdivided according to whether or not the participant was engaged in active movement during the injury. Those actively moving were further categorized by the phase of surfing in which they were participating. The phases were defined as paddling towards the surf, catching a wave, or riding a wave. The remaining cases were categorized as environment-related, sea life-related, or chronic.


135 patients were identified, 60 of whom underwent radiologic evaluation, yielding a total of 150 imaging exams. 84 radiographs, 41 CT, 13 MR, 8 sonograms, 3 angiograms, and 1 retrograde urethragram were reviewed retrospectively. 7 injuries occurred while paddling towards the surf (3 shoulder dislocations, a mandibular fracture, an orbital fracture, and 2 laryngeal contusions). 26 injuries occurred during failed attempts to catch a wave (21 cervical axial load injuries, 3 extremity fractures, and 2 meniscal knee injuries). 6 injuries occurred while riding a wave (3 surf fin lacerations, a pulmonary contusion, a colon tear, and an extremity fracture). 7 injuries occurred from the environment (3 aspirations and 4 fractures from forceful wave action). 3 injuries occurred from marine life (a limb injury from shark attack, a vertebral fracture from dolphin trauma, and a soft tissue foreign body from a sting ray spine). 4 chronic injuries were identified (3 cases of ear canal hyperostosis from chronic cold water exposure and a case of tibial tuberosity exostoses from extensive paddling on bent knees).


Board surfing produces traumatic injuries which are characteristic of each specific phase of activity. Injuries also occur from chronic repetitive trauma, marine life, and unique environmental conditions associated with the sport.

Cite This Abstract

Kuniyoshi, J, Pathria, M, Smith, D, Wipeout! The Unique Radiologic Manifestations and Considerations of Board Surfing Related Injuries.  Radiological Society of North America 2004 Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, November 28 - December 3, 2004 ,Chicago IL.