#Stampede2015 – Cheers to the Calgary Stampede!

800px-Mounties_at_the_Calgary_Stampede_Parade_2011

O Canada! The Mounties parade through the streets of Calgary as part of the Stampede festivities.

The Calgary Stampede starts tomorrow, and we are excited to re-post this popular offering on rodeo: “The most dangerous sport in the world?”

Ironically, another candidate sport for that dubious distinction, calcio storico, has been underway in Florence this past week; the New York Times just had a nice piece on this brutal sport.  Ouch.

But the topic of this post, and the focus of the Stampede, is on the sport of rodeo. Over the years, CJSM has published numerous studies on the subject. Take the time to read this post and connect with the studies, and learn more about this exciting (and injury-producing) sport.

From all of us here at CJSM, to the organizers and participants in the Stampede: we wish we were there, and have a #SafeStampede

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine Blog

Bull_Tamer A Bull Tamer in Australian Rodeo Event. Photo: Amcilrick

TheByrdsSweetheartoftheRodeo “Sweetheart of the Rodeo”

I’ll confess I don’t know much about rodeo.  To the extent the word triggers a response in my mind, I think of Gram Parsons and the Byrds:  “Sweetheart of the Rodeo.” Click on the link and take a listen:  it’s a great album!

Back to sport….it’s my own cultural myopia that overlooks rodeo when I think of the word ‘sport.’ I didn’t grow up participating in it, and in central Ohio I have not attended to any rodeo injuries (equestrian, yes; bull riding, no). I imagine my situation would be different if I practiced in Wyoming or Alberta…..or parts of Mexico, Argentina, and Australia (rodeo is truly international).

As I grow older, I delight in learning more about other sports; my involvement with CJSM certainly has expanded my horizons. Last year, for instance, I…

View original post 569 more words

The Most Dangerous Sport in the World?

Bull_Tamer

A Bull Tamer in Australian Rodeo Event. Photo: Amcilrick

TheByrdsSweetheartoftheRodeo

“Sweetheart of the Rodeo”

I’ll confess I don’t know much about rodeo.  To the extent the word triggers a response in my mind, I think of Gram Parsons and the Byrds:  “Sweetheart of the Rodeo.” Click on the link and take a listen:  it’s a great album!

Back to sport….it’s my own cultural myopia that overlooks rodeo when I think of the word ‘sport.’ I didn’t grow up participating in it, and in central Ohio I have not attended to any rodeo injuries (equestrian, yes; bull riding, no). I imagine my situation would be different if I practiced in Wyoming or Alberta…..or parts of Mexico, Argentina, and Australia (rodeo is truly international).

As I grow older, I delight in learning more about other sports; my involvement with CJSM certainly has expanded my horizons. Last year, for instance, I wrote (and learned) about the ice sport of ringette after the journal published a study on the injury epidemiology of this largely Canadian activity. I had previously never heard of rignette. Shame on me.

I was reading the New Yorker earlier this week when I came across this tantalizing entry: “The Ride of Their Lives: Children Prepare for the World’s Most Dangerous Organized Sport.”  The focus of the article is a particular event in rodeo, bull riding, and the kids and families who participate in this sport….which is, indeed, very dangerous.   “It’s not if you’re gonna get hurt; it’s when,” one parent is quoted.  As a pediatric sports medicine physician, I was bound to be get hooked.

I was delighted to see the New Yorker author use the work of Dale Butterwick as one of his chief sources for the article’s epidemiologic data. Mr. Butterwick is a faculty member of the University of Calgary, Alberta, and has written extensively on injury patterns in rodeo.  Among his more important works is the CJSM 2011 study, “Rodeo Catastrophic Injuries and Registry:  Initial Retrospective and Prospective Report,” which reported on 20 years of data collected by the only, international registry for catastrophic injury in rodeo, which he maintains. Read more of this post

Rodeo Catastrophic Injuries – ESPN video special

Some of you will have read this study by Butterwick and colleagues in last month’s CJSM entitled ‘Rodeo Catastrophic Injuries and Registry: Initial Retrospective and Prospective Report’ which highlighted the epidemiology of catastrophic injuries and fatalities over a 20 year period from 1989 to 2009.

The study found an incidence rate of catastrophic injury of 19.81 per 100 000 (19/95 892), with an incidence rate of fatality from 4.05 per 100 000 (21/518 286). The most devastating injuries in rodeo and bull riding were found to be due to thoracic compression injuries.

 

 

This graph, reproduced from the study, shows the distribution of injuries by rodeo event, highlighting that the greatest number of catastrophic injuries had occurred during either bull riding or junior bull riding/steer riding events (38 of 49; 77.5%).

 

 

 

 

Interestingly, the study concluded that there was no evidence that rodeo vests have any protective effect in preventing some of these catastrophic thoracic injuries, but that helmet use in bull riding and rodeo events did seem to offer some level of protection in preventing catastrophic injuries and fatalities.

The study by Butterwick and colleagues was recently presented and discussed on the ESPN website here with comments from Cody Lambert, a retired bull rider who designed the first vest used in professional bull riding some 20 years ago, mentioning that these have changed little in design over this period of time.

The website also has a link to a video interview with one of the co-authors of the CJSM article, Dr Tandy Freeman, Medical Director for the Professional Bull Riders Inc and for the Justin Sportsmedicine team. Dr Freeman gives a graphic description of what happens during the evolution of some of these injuries, which is accompanied by some startling film footage of some of these catastrophic events in the making.

Those of you involved in the management of rodeo injuries will also be interested to read this retrospective study by Sinclair and Smidt published in CJSM in 2009 which analysed some 10 years’ of injuries in high school rodeo, finding a total of 354 injury incidents from 43,168 competitor exposures (CEs).

Having reflected on these studies and having viewed the video footage for myself, I can safely say that I think that I will be sticking with soccer and golf as the sports in which I will be choosing to participate. I should also add that my last effort on a mechanical bucking bronco during a summer ball many years ago at medical school was particularly weak. Justin McBride has nothing to fear…

(photograph of rodeo event taken at the Calgary Stampede Rodeo by James Teterenko and graph reproduced from Butterwick DJ et al. Rodeo Catastrophic Injuries and Registry: Initial Retrospective and Prospective Report. Clin J Sport Med. 2011;21:243-248)

%d bloggers like this: