The most commonly broken bones are the clavicle, arm, wrist, ankle, toe, and feet and 50% of broken bones in adults happen to arms. But what about getting hot sauce in your eye? Or getting chomped by dogs, or falling on your butt, or biting your tongue? What are the different perils for four-year-olds and 80-year-olds? Counting all of the possible things that could go wrong, we wanted to know: What body part is most likely to fall victim to pain and mishap? We turn to the experts for answers.



Michele Swinton

LPN RAC-CT specializing in long term geriatric care

The body part most frequently injured in the senior population are the hips. This injury is almost always fall related secondary to unsteady gait, weakness, or trip hazards in the home such as small rugs and even pets.

Another very complex injured body part in the elderly population is the brain. A stroke occurs when there is an interruption in blood flow to the brain. Stroke, also known as a CVA (cerebrovascular accident) is a very devastating event that can cause irreversible paralysis and confine a person to a life of permanent dependence on others for their most basic daily needs.

Percentages of patients who were able to get same or next-day doctors’ appointments when sick or injured




New Zealand










United Kingdom



Source: The commonwealth fund (2013)


Molly Talbot

Elementary school teacher in Brooklyn, NY

I teach "old" four year olds, kids who turn five by March. Probably the most common injuries I see each day are bumped knees. They still don't totally have a sense of their own bodies and crash into everything.

Every year, I have one kid who is really tall for his age (and I say his because it's always been a boy in my experience) who just is too big for his own good. He will fall into the tables, into other kids, knock down block buildings all because he just cannot control his body. This kid this year just broke his arm on the monkey bars at the park last weekend. Not one person was surprised.

The most common fracture prior to age 75 is a wrist fracture. In those over age 75, hip fractures become the most common broken bone.

Fractures account for 16% of all musculoskeletal injuries in the U.S. annually.

More than 40% of fractures occur at home (22.5% inside and 19.1% outside).

Approximately 6.3 million fractures occur each year in the U.S.

Fractures occur at an annual rate of 2.4 per 100 population. Men are more likely to experience fractures (2.8 per 100 population) than women (2.0 per 100).


Frank Plecas

50 yrs. of active coaching (varsity basketball coach, assistant varsity football coach, varsity golf coach, baseball coach at both high school and youth level)

The location and type of injury sustained is, for the most part, related to the activity or sport of choice. Elbows and shoulders tend to be baseball-related. Knee, head, and shoulder injuries are often associated with football. Back, hand, and wrist injuries tend to appear in golfers. Back and pretty much every type of joint injury will show up in basketball.  These differences exist due to the different ways in which the body is used and stressed in each sport.  

After age 45, fracture rates become higher among women. Among persons 65 and over, fracture rates are three times higher among women than men.

There are approximately 3.5 million visits made to emergency departments for fractures each year.

Source: Schwebel, Personal Injury Attorneys


Catherine "Caty" Raupp

Dancer, BFA in Dance from the University of Michigan

I’ve been fortunate enough to have never had any major injuries from my dance career, but I am periodically bothered by my knees. They will hurt under the patella bone and make odd clicking, popping noises when I straighten them.

The reason my knees are weird is interesting because it is not a skeletal problem but a muscular one. This is very common for dancers; most injuries do not occur from impact, such as a landing a jump incorrectly or falling, but rather from overuse

Patients who used the emergency room between 2011-2013:


US uninsured










Switzerland / Norway


New Zealand


United Kingdom

Source: The commonwealthfund


Frances Alleva

RN, Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, NY

It’s the hands. Breaks, burns, cuts, etc. Oh, cat bites too: lots and lots of cat bites. Jammed fingers for athletes as well. Etc. Etc.


ILLUSTRATION:  Nikita Treptsov  Additional sources: AP