Pre-hospital care was needed in 16 percent of all of the patients, and the most common injuries were lacerations and abrasions (64%), upper extremity fractures (26%), head injuries (9%), and thoracic trauma (6%).
Interestingly, 16 percent of road cycling injuries were to the head, while only six percent of mountain biking injuries were the same.
Patients with head injuries who didn’t use a helmet were also more likely to require transferring to the neurosurgical unit, though the study notes “this difference did not meet statistical significance.”
The full conclusion reads: “Lacerations and abrasions are the most common injuries sustained in cycling. Quantifying the role of protective extremity gear in reducing these injury patterns may be of interest for future studies.
“Protective helmet use may be important in reducing morbidity from cycling-related head trauma; however, more data are needed. Prehospital care providers responding to the injured trail cyclist should be equipped to manage laceration, fracture, head injury, and thoracic trauma in the field.”