Frequently Asked Questions - What Body Region is Most Likely To Be Injured In a Motorcycle Crash?
Motorcycle crashes and be extremely dangerous because of the fact that you have nothing to shield your body in the event of a crash. If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, the chances of you being thrown from your motorcycle are significant. This can cause a multitude of different injuries and can sometimes be life threatening, especially if you choose not to wear a helmet or protective clothing. Depending on how severe the crash is, you could walk away with a few scratches or it could ultimately be fatal.
An extremely common motorcycle injury is a head injury which can range from a concussion to major brain damage. This is the number one reason why always wearing a helmet when you ride your motorcycle is so crucial. If you are involved in an accident while riding your motorcycle with no helmet, there is nothing to protect your head from trauma. If you sustain a head injury, you should always be examined immediately by a medical professional. MRIs and CT scans will be taken to rule out any significant trauma or bleeding. If the scans reveal any level of trauma, you will likely be referred to a specialist who can do their best to repair the damage before it becomes worse or you may have to undergo emergency surgery. If you sustain a non-life threatening injury such as a concussion, you will likely be discharged home with the instructions to rest and sleep whenever necessary. A common myth is that you should not fall asleep if you have a concussion because you may not wake up. In actuality, sleep is the best thing you can do if you are suffering from a concussion as sleep helps tremendously during the recovery period. If you sustain a more serious injury such as a brain bleed or a closed head fracture, this could be life threatening. Typically the signs of a serious head injury can be mood changes, headaches, swelling of the face, confusion, loss of consciousness and difficulty speaking or walking. If you are showing any of these signs after a motorcycle crash, you should call an ambulance or be taken to the nearest emergency room immediately. If left untreated, it may be too late for a medical specialist to be able to repair the damage which can ultimately lead to death. Any head injury, no matter how small, should always be checked out by a medical professional as even the slightest bump can cause tremendous injury when it comes to the brain which is extremely fragile.
Another serious motorcycle injury is spinal damage. You do not necessarily need to land on your back to suffer from spinal damage. Just the impact alone from a vehicle crashing into you is enough to cause serious damage. A good way to protect yourself as much as possible while riding a motorcycle is to always wear a specialized clothing designed to withstand an impact. Some motorcycle jackets have a very thick protective spine built into them which acts as a cushion upon impact. Although this clothing does not always protect you from injury, it can be a proactive way to do as much as you can to protect yourself as a motorcycle rider. Spinal injuries can be serious because as can often result in paralysis. Paralysis happens when the nerve cells which signal movement are not able to pass through to the muscles. Some people sometimes only suffer partial paralysis. If this is the case, you will most likely still have partial function of most of your muscles to a certain degree and this could be permanent or temporary. If your injury results in full paralysis, you will be unable to move any parts of your body. You will be dependent upon a wheelchair for the rest of your life as you will have no motor functions.
If you suffer a minor spinal injury, you will likely suffer from disc bulges or herniations. A disc bulges is where the inner nucleus of a disc pushes through the disc into the outer layer. A disc herniation is where the softer part of the spinal disc extrudes through to the outer disc, pushing on the nerves. The difference between a disc bulge and a disc herniation is that a bulge involves less than 25% of its extruding nucleus pushing on the nerve or spinal column whereas a herniated disc involves more than 25% of the nucleus protruding out. Disc herniations can often be the leading cause of tingling, numbness and weakness throughout your arms and legs, known as radiculitis. If you suffer from disc herniations and radiculitis, chances are high that the only treatment would be surgical intervention. Unless you need a complete disc replacement or fusion, this type of surgery is generally minimally invasive. It typically involves lasers which burn away the herniation so that it is no longer pushing on the nerve or spinal cord. This relieves the pain and stops the radiculitis. If you require a fusion or disc replacement, these types of surgeries are a little more aggressive and will require a much longer recovery period.
Other types of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can be broken bones, dislocations or road rash. Even though broken or dislocated bones are a big deal, these injuries are less serious than brain or spinal damage as they are much easier to heal on their own with immediate medical treatment and follow up and plenty of rest. Most broken bones heal without surgical intervention. You will be placed in a boot or a cast for several weeks and repeat x-rays will be able to show if the bone is healing. Obviously if the bone does not heal or sets incorrectly, surgical intervention would be warranted, but that is not very common. Road rash, cuts and lacerations generally heal on their own, maybe a few stitches are needed to close the wound, but unless there is an infection, you will probably heal quickly.