Orthopaedic injury patterns in motorcycle trauma in Victoria, Australia
Motorcycle accidents lead to significant morbidity, mortality, and associated costs with riders having a risk of death 30 times greater, and a risk of injury eight times greater, than of people driving other vehicles. In Victoria, CrashStats reported approximately 1030 serious or fatal injuries from motorcycle accidents in 2009. If “minor” injuries are included, the number is almost doubled. While head trauma may be the most significant predictor of survival outcome, tibial fractures are the most common injury. A recently completed feasibility pilot project that involved interviewing riders about their motorcycle and safety gear showed it was possible to recruit these patients, it further showed in a random sample of Victorian motorcycle accident victims characteristics of the riders, the motorcycles involved and the use of protective apparel. The next step will be to validate the data collected from injured riders and then conduct a bigger analysis to determine the effect on injury outcome. While commentary can be found implicating motorcycle design in certain fractures, formal research is lacking in this entire area, which makes it imperative that we urgently seek those factors that can impact on reducing the number and severity of orthopaedic injuries.