Emergency Medicine: Open Access

Emergency Medicine: Open Access
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7548


The Epidemiology of Cycling Fractures in Adults

Court-Brown CM, Morven Allan, Eleanor Davidson and Margaret M McQueen

Objective: To Understand the Epidemiology of Cycling Fractures. Cycling injuries are increasing in incidence but there is, as yet, very little information about which fractures are associated with cycling.

Methods: We have undertaken a prospective study of cycling fractures in adults over a one-year period in 2010- 11. All in-patient and out-patient fractures in patients aged ≥ 16 years were examined.

Results: The results show that 3.6% of all fractures are caused by cycling and that the highest incidence in males is between 30-39 years of age with the highest incidence in females being between 50-59 years. The highest incidence in all types of cycling is in young males following road traffic accidents. Overall 86.5% of the fractures were in the upper limb and 29.3% were around the shoulder with clavicular fractures being the most common cycling fracture. The commonest lower limb fracture was the proximal femoral fracture, this usually being considered to be an osteoporotic fracture. We believe that this fracture occurs in cycling because of the use of shoes that are fixed to the pedals. There were very few foot fractures associated with cycling.

Conclusions: Cycling is a common cause of fractures. It is the commonest cause of fracture after road traffic accidents and the third commonest cause of fracture after sports injury. Our results demonstrate the importance of protective clothing and cycle paths.