Ridiculous Study of the Week: Zipper Injuries


 Although the separable fastener, marketed as the zipper, has become a necessary component of modern life, its convenience comes at a price: its attack upon the penis. Nearly 2000 US males sustain a zipper-related penis injury (ZIRPI) annually, and many of these accidents require emergency surgery. Nevertheless, the zipper has been tolerated quietly for 100 years on account of its unsurpassed ease of use.

A 2013 study in which data were extrapolated from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) showed that an estimated 17,616 patients presented to emergency departments with ZIRPI in the United States between 2002 and 2010.1 In this landmark research, the authors found that zippers are the most common cause of penile injury among men and are a close second to toilet seats among boys. Prior to this study’s publication, the literature on ZIRPI largely consisted of anecdotes or isolated case series from various medical centers.

Yes, ZIRPI.  You read that right. A ZIRPI is not a mixed drink.  It is worse.  Much, much worse.

I am going to NOT rip on this study for one reason and one reason only.  The article goes on to say:

ZIRPI has a storied history in popular culture, having been featured in media such as the 1998 film There’s Something About Mary, in which a high school boy (played by Ben Stiller) misses his chance to go to the prom with his dream date (played by Cameron Diaz) because he gets his penis stuck in his zipper.

Any article that mentions Something About Mary is a friend of mine.

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  7 comments for “Ridiculous Study of the Week: Zipper Injuries

  1. October 10, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    They hint at the toilet seat accident with young boys. Poor kids are just tall enough to use the toilet standing and after picking up the lid it comes crashing down. Who knew going to the bathroom was such a dangerous place?

  2. Pat
    October 10, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Think that’s why Caitlyn Jenner finally got “the” surgery?

  3. Steve O'
    October 10, 2017 at 10:58 am

    This observation could never merit a trendiness score without touching on the politically exciting topics du jour.
    Some appearance-normalizing clothing for transmen is not body-friendly. Chest binders, which reduce the prominence of breasts, are frequently made with the unfriendly zipper. It is a shocking example of maleism and phallopower centrism to speak of the cruel fly zipper, which often attacks transwomen‘s nether parts, without reference to the equally body-hostile nipple-nipping zippered chest binder. The BMJ and NEJM and JAMA have clearly skirted shirked their responsibility in bringing this threat forward! Studies must be done. Guidelines must be issued. Checkboxes must be checked. No threat is contained until buried in ennui and paperwork! To the Ramparts of the Ivory Tower!!

  4. Perry
    October 10, 2017 at 9:37 am
  5. October 10, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Two words: Hair gel

  6. Perry
    October 10, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Makes me believe we should go back to buttons.

Comments are closed.