Broken Bones and Fractures from Bicycle Accidents

Broken Bones and Fractures from Bicycle Accidents

Falling off a bicycle because you collided with a car or truck, an open car door, object in the road or from a slippery surface can easily lead to fractured limbs, pelvis, skull or portions of your hands or feet. You have even less protection in an accident than a motorcycle rider who typically wears a full-face helmet, boots, gloves, and pants. Bike riders have helmets that fit the top of their head only and may cover the ears. They may have thin bike gloves and usually wear shorts and bike shoes or sneakers. Other than the helmet that will not prevent lower facial fractures, your clothing is more designed for comfort than protection against serious injury.

Bone fractures can be minor, such as a broken toe or finger. Or, they may be very serious if you suffer multiple fractures, compression fractures in your back, a pelvis or skull fracture. Some fractures can result in the bone breaking through the skin, exposing you to severe infection. A list of bone fractures that bike riders have sustained in any kind of accident include:

  • Collarbone
  • Skull
  • Upper extremities
  • Pelvis
  • Clavicle
  • Ribs
  • Ankle
  • Femur
  • Patella
  • Tibia and fibula
  • Wrist--ulna and scaphold
  • Feet and hands
  • Facial including jaw and dental fractures

If your bones are shattered in a crash or are misaligned, then surgical intervention is needed that may include insertion of rods that are affixed by screws. Your recovery and rehabilitation can take months in some cases. Reconstructive surgery may be needed for facial, jaw and dental fractures.

Lower leg fractures are common in bike accidents. Your leg consists of your femur or thigh bone and tibia or shin bone. If broken, you may suffer from these types of fracture:

1Stable fracture
bones are only slightly out of place
2Displaced fracture
broken ends of the bones do not line up
3Transverse fracture
bones do not line up and are very unstable
4Oblique fracture
bones are broken at an angle and become unstable over time
5Spiral fracture
occurs from a twisting motion or force
6Open fracture
bones penetrates the skin

Less serious fractures do not require surgical intervention. If a finger or toe, a splint may be used. Otherwise, a limb is placed in a cast or brace to keep the bones aligned. After healing, you may need some therapy to restore full motion and strength.

If you are unsure if you suffered a broken bone, do not delay in seeking treatment since not doing so can lead to greater injury. It could also jeopardize an injury claim because you made the injury worse by ignoring symptoms or refusing treatment. Further, an insurer may claim your injury was not caused by the accident but by a superseding event. In any injury from a bike accident, have it checked out promptly for your own peace of mind.

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