Dislocations in Bicycle Accidents and How They’re Treated

Dislocations are injuries that occur in joint areas such as when a bone moves out of position. Most are not serious and can be easily treated in an emergency room or doctor’s office. Consider some of the common types that Aurora bicyclists may sustain in a bicycle accident and how the severity of the injury will determine treatment.

Types of Dislocations: Shoulder

This type of dislocation can be the result of a bicyclist attempting to break a fall with his or her hand, or the shoulder making contact with the ground or a vehicle, such as if a driver violated your right of way. The upper arm bone (humerus) pops out of the shoulder socket.

Common symptoms for most dislocations include pain, tenderness in the area, swelling, bruising and deformity. A shoulder dislocation requires immediate treatment, so the doctor can move the arm bone back into the socket. Waiting may make this more difficult because of the increased pain and swelling.

After the bone is moved back into the socket, there are different forms of conservative treatment that may be used. Examples include icing the shoulder, wearing a sling or shoulder immobilizer, and anti-inflammatory medication. The doctor might recommend strengthening/stretching exercises once the pain and swelling has subsided.

If it’s a severe dislocation, surgery may be required in order to correctly position the bone. It’s also possible that the injury is more serious because of damage to surrounding nerves and tissue.

Types of Dislocations: Ankle

This can be a very serious injury, which may also be accompanied by fracture and/or ligament damage. Typically it occurs when the ankle is abnormally twisted. With an ankle, the dislocation can occur in any direction, making this an extremely painful injury.

A doctor may be able to manually manipulate the ankle back into place. But surgery could be necessary, especially if there is also a fracture. To restore its position and make the ankle stable, plates and screws might be used as the ankle heals.

Following treatment the patient will typically need to avoid placing weight on it. Crutches and/or a cast will help with this. At some point physical therapy will likely be required in order to restore its normal range of motion.

Types of Dislocations: Hip

A tremendous amount of force is required to pop the thighbone (femur) out of its socket. But this can happen in a serious collision. It’s not uncommon for there to be other injuries – such as broken legs or pelvis – that accompany a hip dislocation.

This kind of injury requires orthopedic treatment. The bone will have to be moved back into place. The patient may be under a sedative, but sometimes under general anesthesia. A small incision may also be necessary. Recovery is typically longer and could include rehabilitation.

Types of Dislocations: Jaw

When the lower part of the jaw moves out of position, at one or both joints, it’s dislocated. As with all other types of dislocations, a doctor sometimes moves it back into place using his or her thumbs, or surgery will be required to reposition the bone.

Damages for a Dislocation Injury in a Bicycle Accident

If someone else was at fault for the accident, compensation may be available. Recovery could include the medical costs (current and future), lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish and more. Contact attorney D.J. Banovitz if you were in an accident in the Aurora area and wish to explore your options to pursue compensation from an at-fault driver or other party. Call 303-300-5060.