Motorcycle accidents are believed to be the second most common cause of traffic accidents in developing countries and in developed countries. One study looked at the characteristics of lower leg injuries that come from motorcycle accidents. They also evaluated early treatment of these types of injuries.
In the study, they looked at all patients with lower leg injuries that were sustained secondary to a motorcycle accident who went to a single hospital between October 2006 and September 2007. Each patient had a detailed history and physical examination following resuscitation of the patient. The nature of the injuries was documented in each situation. Treatment was looked at, in particular whether or not the treatment was conservative or involved surgery. This was apparently based on the type and pattern of injuries. Patients were followed up in a clinic to look at how they were doing clinically and radiologically. The functional status of each patient was looked at after they were able to bear weight on the affected extremity.
There was a total of 429 victims of a motorcycle accident that were seen during this time period. Lower limb injuries were the most common type of injury. This represented a total of 55.5 percent of the total injuries. Males were more than twice as likely to be victims of motorcycle crashes when compared to females. The mean age was 43 years of age. The most common lower leg injury was 73 percent – fractures. Fortunately closed fractures were more common than open fractures. Most fractures occurred in the tibial shaft. After treatment, most victims suffered from long-lasting joint stiffness.
Lower leg injuries are among the most common injuries in motorcycle accident victims. Most people sustained fractures and most fractures were of the tibia and fibula. These two bones form the lower leg and take most of the force in motorcycle injury accidents. If the fracture doesn’t involve an open area to the skin at the site of the fracture, it is said to be a closed fracture. If fracture fragments are said to be contiguous with the outside air at some point in the injury, the fracture is said to be open. Open fractures need cleaning out in surgery with devitalized tissue and bone removed. The risk of infection is high.
In open or closed fractures, the patient undergoes surgery quite often. This means that screws and a plate are used to connect the bony ends or a rod is pushed down into the bone marrow on both the upper and lower ends of the bone. The rod keeps the bony ends in alignment and the person recovers faster.
Casting may be required for open or closed fractures and usually involves a cast from the upper leg to include the entire foot. The patient may not bear weight on this type of cast and must use a walker or wheelchair in order to get around after the injury. Casting can be any time from six weeks after the injury to about 6 months, depending on the nature of the fracture and the type of initial repair. Most people have good outcomes with the exception of some joint stiffness.