Bicycle Accidents Can Cause Severe Bone Fractures

Bicycle Accidents Can Cause Severe Bone FracturesThere are 206 bones in the human body. A rider on a bicycle who is struck by a car could break any one of those bones, depending on the speed and force of the crash and how the rider falls. Some of the bones that may break include a rider’s hip, shoulder, neck, pelvis, hand, arm, leg, or foot. While a simple fracture may heal after a few months, many fractures from bicycle accidents are more severe than a simple clean break. Many Tulsa bicycle accident victims live with constant pain. Some victims lose the ability to ever ride or walk again. Some victims require multiple operations.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) states that about two out of every 100 vehicle accidents involve a bicycle. The number of fatal bicycle accidents among bicyclists 20 years and older has nearly quadrupled from 1975 to 2020. In 2020, 932 bicycle riders died in motor vehicle accidents.

What are the different types of bone fractures?

Anyone in a bicycle accident should seek immediate medical help. Normally, an ER doctor will conduct an initial examination to determine what bones may be fractured, the type of fracture, and the severity of the fracture. Orthopedic doctors are physicians who specialize in the treatment of bone fractures, including surgery. While some patients only need a cast, splint, sling, or brace, many bicycle accident victims with broken bones do require surgery.

The Cleveland Clinic uses the following ways to categorize and define various bone injuries:

  • Bone fracture vs. break. Generally, a fracture and a broken bone are the same thing. A fracture is a more medical term.
  • Bone fracture vs. bone bruise. Bones are living tissues. A bone can be bruised similar to the way your skin can be bruised though a bone bruise requires more force. A bone bruise occurs when blood is trapped under the surface of the bone after an injury occurs. A bone fracture causes the bone to break in one or more places. Bone breaks require more time to heal and are more serious.
  • Bone sprains. A sprain happens when one of your ligaments is torn or stretched. Tulsa bicycle accident victims can suffer both a bone sprain and a bone fracture.

Bone fractures are analyzed based on the pattern of the break – or what the break looks like. The cause of the fracture and the location of the fracture are also used to analyze broken bones.

How is a bone fracture diagnosed?

An examination normally includes a physical exam, an oral history and diagnostic imaging tests. The imaging tests will include X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. In some instances, medical providers may perform bone scans.

What are the treatments for bone fractures?

The possible treatments for bone fractures, including those from a bicycle accident, include:

  • Immobilization. A splint is used for three to five weeks. A cast normally requires six to eight weeks.
  • Closed reduction. This is a realignment, which is technically a non-surgical procedure, of the bones under a local anesthetic and general anesthesia. The procedure will be followed up with a splint or a cast.
  • Surgery. Surgical techniques include internal fixation (metal holds the bone in place during the healing process), external fixation (such as using screws to connect the bone to a brace or bracket – followed with an internal fixation), arthroplasty (use of an artificial joint or prosthesis), or bone grafts (additional bone tissue is used to “rejoin your fractured bone”).

Complications of bone fractures include acute compartment syndrome which can cause permanent nerve and muscle damage, malunion (the bones don’t line up correctly), nonunion, bone infection, and internal damage. Some severe fractures can take more than one year to heal – and the victim may still live with pain.

Bicycle accident victims suffer at least two impacts when car accidents happen. The first is with the car. The second is with the ground. In addition to fractures, riders may suffer head injuries, spinal cord damage, traumatic amputations, and other severe injuries. At Biby Law Firm, we are respected by former clients, insurance companies, and defense lawyers for our record of successful settlements and verdicts. We demand full compensation for all your injuries. Call our Tulsa accident lawyers or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment.