Injuries in Motocross
Research has shown that 95% of Motocross riders have gained an injury. In fact injuries are so common in Motocross that riders accept that an injury at some stage is impossible to avoid.
Most Motocross injuries occur during a crash or fall. Because of the speed of the bike the injuries can be extremely serious. There are numerous reports of fatalities and spinal cord injuries in Motocross riders.
Men are injured far more frequently than women during Motocross. Most of those people who are injured are under the age of 25. All of the body can be damaged following a Motocross crash or fall, although the upper body is injured more frequently than the lower body. Most Motocross injuries occurred at a bend in the track, although landing from a jump is another activity that carries a high risk of injury. Because of the high injury risk, protective equipment is essential.
The way most risks are reduced in motocross is by wearing the correct PPE, Helmets, Goggles, Jerseys, Trousers, Knee Braces, Wrist Supports, Neck Brace, Boots, Boot Slippers and Body Armour are all recommended due to them all minimising the risk of injury. Not much more can be recommended to lower the risk of injury apart from riding at a slower speed.
Top 4 Injuries
- Broken Collar Bone -
The Collar Bone is one of the most frequently broken bones in the body. A broken Collar bone is an extremely common shoulder injury in Motocross riders. A broken collar bone usually occurs during a fall from the bike when the rider falls onto an out stretched hand. The force transmitted up the arm is often enough to cause the collar bone to break. The only way to avoid this is to try not to fall! Be aware that over 50% of Motocross injuries occur at bends so be extremely careful when cornering. Look out for other bikers because when two bikes collide it will hurt and most of the time there will be an injury. Walking the course prior to the event is essential to help you anticipate areas of the track that could be a problem. If you stay clear of bunches at trouble spots then you can often pick up a few places as other riders collide. If you suspect a broken collar bone you should go straight to hospital and get it checked out. Once the doctor is satisfied that the collar bone is sufficiently healed then shoulder range of movement exercises can be progressed to gradually increase shoulder movement.
- Broken Wrist -
A broken wrist is common following a fall on an outstretched hand.Staying on the bike is the best way to prevent wrist injuries. Having a sensible race strategy based upon your assessment of the course and the pre-race briefing can help you to steer clear of trouble. Remember that bends and landing from a jump are the most common causes of a ball from the bike and also the time that most wrist fractures occur. Protective equipment can lessen the impact of a fall if you do come off the bike. Wrist guards should always be worn as they significantly reduce the incidence of wrist injuries during falls.If a wrist fracture is confirmed on x-ray, the initial treatment will be supervised by the doctor in the emergency department. If the two fragments of broken bone are shown to be close together, and well aligned, the treatment is simply to immobilize the wrist in a cast for 6 weeks. Depending on the preference of the treating doctor it may be possible to use a removable cast from two or three weeks so long as the x-ray shows that the bone is healing well.
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture -
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is deep within the knee joint, connecting the thigh bone with the shin bone. Its function is to prevent excessive forward movement of the shin in relation to the thigh and also to prevent excessive rotation at the knee joint. The ACL is usually injured when landing from a jump onto a bent knee, or landing on a knee that is over-extended. Riders without an ACL find it extremely difficult to control the bike, particularly when landing jumps.A high quality knee can be effective in reducing the risk of an ACL injury. If you've ever suffered a knee injury during Motocross then you'll appreciate that prevention is better than rehab - good quality knee brace is the number one method of knee protection. All ACL injuries require the opinion of an orthopaedic consultant. If the knee is unstable following an ACL injury then reconstruction surgery is required. This is followed by a 6 month rehabilitation programme with a physiotherapist.
- Broken Ankle -
Ankle fractures are named depending on the exact location of the fracture line. Lateral Malleolus and Medial Malleolus fractures can occur in isolation or together. If a bike lands on your ankle you can't do a great deal about it. Riding sensibly can help, but the most important thing is to make sure that you're fit enough to ride. If your fitness is good then you can concentrate throughout the race and you'll be less likely to make mistakes as fatigue is the cause of many accidents. An ankle brace can also help to reduce the risk of ankle injury. Any suspected broken ankle needs to be urgently transferred to hospital for assessment by a specialist trauma doctor. 'Open' fractures, where the bone fragments push through the skin, are patently obvious but all serious ankle injuries require a full assessment and an x-ray evaluation. After a period of immobilisation in a plaster or Removable Plastic Cast, the doctor will indicate that the fracture has healed sufficiently. Rehabilitation under the supervision of a physiotherapist is essential. Ankle pumping exercises are excellent for restoring ankle range of motion and these can be progressed to Resistance Band exercises to build strength around the ankle.