Serious injuries mounting at trampoline parks - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Serious injuries mounting at trampoline parks

Posted: Updated:
Emergency crews treated a person who was injured at Sky Zone in Jeffersontown in March. Emergency crews treated a person who was injured at Sky Zone in Jeffersontown in March.
Sara Moses is undergoing rehabilitation after an injury she suffered at Sky Zone in February. Sara Moses is undergoing rehabilitation after an injury she suffered at Sky Zone in February.
Dr. Joshua Meier, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Kosair Children's Hospital, said he treats trampoline injuries daily. Dr. Joshua Meier, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Kosair Children's Hospital, said he treats trampoline injuries daily.
Personal injury attorney Rheanne Dodson Falkner Personal injury attorney Rheanne Dodson Falkner
The patient was loaded into an ambulance outside Sky Zone. The patient was loaded into an ambulance outside Sky Zone.

Editor's note: This story has been altered from its original version to clarify that the indoor trampoline park in Phoenix where a man was injured and died in 2012 was not a Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Fun for all ages, or an accident waiting to happen? Injuries are mounting at indoor trampoline parks, including one in Louisville. Doctors have treated broken bones, torn ligaments and worse.

Experts are not saying you or your kids should never step foot in a trampoline park. But the fact is, even the parks themselves admit the fun comes with risk.

[SLIDESHOW: Serious injuries mounting at trampoline parks]

Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park in Jeffersontown wants you to see scenes like those posted on its website: teens and adults bouncing high, playing games, and smiling big.

But it's a different type of image that played out more than once in the past year that is becoming all too common.

In March, paramedics were called to the dodge ball court after someone suffered a knee injury so bad he had to be carried out.

One month earlier, Sara Moses had a trip to Sky Zone end with a trip to the emergency room.

"I heard pop, pop, pop, and then my leg went out to the left," Moses said, pointing out the five different scars on her leg from where doctors scoped and then operated on her injured knee.

Moses needed reconstructive surgery to repair the damage. She ruptured her ACL and tore her meniscus in two places while jumping with her 3 and 5-year-olds not far from where we saw kids using trampoline walls to do flips upwards of 10 feet into the air.

"I wasn't doing anything crazy or anything," Moses said, "just jumped and landed wrong." She added, "It really is a greater risk than you would think."

Records reveal three badly broken ankles in a four-month period at the Jeffersontown Sky Zone in 2013. The list of broken bones and damaged joints at Sky Zones in Cincinnati and Memphis is even longer.

"I don't think they thought the severity of the injuries are as bad as they can be," said Dr. Joshua Meier, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Kosair Children's Hospital.

Meier said he treats trampoline injuries on a daily basis, both from Sky Zone and more traditional free-standing trampolines. Meier said the most serious injuries are open fractures or compound fractures where the bone is coming
out of the skin.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against recreational trampoline use and says while data is insufficient regarding safety at trampoline parks specifically, "jumpers may be at increased risk for suffering an injury... potentially catastrophic."

[VIEW: American Academy of Pediatrics advises against recreational trampoline use]

That was the case in 2012 when, according published reports, a man died at a different indoor trampoline park in Phoenix after landing wrong in a foam pit.

Sky Zone declined an on-camera interview but issued the following statement:

"As with any recreational activity, there is a potential for injury, so Sky Zone has posted warning signs and guidelines to educate guests on how to fly safe. Additionally, we have safety videos playing throughout the park and have court monitors that strictly enforce our rules on each trampoline court. "

They also make everyone sign a waiver that Rheanne Dodson Falkner, a personal injury attorney, said was created to protect Sky Zone against being held responsible for anything that goes wrong inside the facility.

[VIEW: Participant agreement, release and assumption of risk waiver]

"They're basically saying this is inherently dangerous, and our employees might mess up, but we're not going to be liable," Falkner said.


For Sara Moses, that means lost pay during the months she will be in rehabilitation instead of at work.

"I wish I could say something like, 'I was downhill in Boulder,' but I was jumping on a trampoline," Moses said.

[VIEW:  American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons position statement on trampolines and trampoline safety]

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says injuries from all types of recreational trampoline use is rising as its popularity grows, and significant injuries are being seen in both children and adults.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.