Researchers are studying injuries associated with mountain biking

July 3, 2012

Topic: Orthopaedics

Researchers are studying injuries that are common in mountain biking.

A binational team of scientists released a study that helped characterize the most common injuries that occur during mountain biking. Among these mishaps are orthopaedics issues such as fractures.

Mountain biking, which takes riders over steep and challenging terrain, is becoming a more popular sport, according to the researchers. In 2009, nearly 28 percent of 38 million Americans who went cycling said they used mountain bikes.

In order to investigate the types of injury associated with the sport, the team of scientists reviewed the medical records of a health center that treated nearly 900 individuals who hurt themselves while mountain biking. More than 85 percent of these patients were male.

Results showed that about 75 percent of injuries were upper extremity fractures, 11 percent involved trauma to the brain and nearly 9 percent needed required medical care at a more advanced facility.

Other results suggest that most of these injuries are the result of riders losing control of their bikes or falling off.

"Although exposure information is unavailable, these findings demonstrate serious risks associated with this sport and highlight the need for continued research into appropriate safety equipment and risk avoidance measures," the researchers wrote in their study, which is published in the journal Wilderness & Environmental Medicine.

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