Introduction: The COVID-19 lockdown resulted in decreased vehicle use and an increased uptake in cycling. This study investigated the trends in cycling-related injuries requiring orthopaedic intervention during the COVID-19 lockdown period compared with similar time periods in 2018 and 2019.

Methods: Data were collected prospectively for patients in 2020 and collected retrospectively for 2019 and 2018, from hospitals within four NHS Scotland Health Boards encompassing three major trauma centres. All patients who sustained an injury as a result of cycling requiring orthopaedic intervention were included. Patient age, sex, mechanism of injury, diagnosis and treatment outcome from electronic patient records.

Results: Number of injuries requiring surgery 2020: 77 (mean age/years – 42.7); 2019: 47 (mean age/years - 42.7); 2018: 32 (mean age/years – 31.3). Overall incidence of cycling injuries 2020: 6.7%; 2019: 3.0%; 2018: 2.1%. Commonest mechanism of injury: fall from bike 2020 n = 54 (70.1%); 2019 n = 41 (65.1%); 2018 n = 25 (67.6%). Commonest injury type: fracture 2020 n = 68 (79.1%); 2019 n = 33 (70.2%); 2018 n = 20 (62.5%). Commonest areas affected: Upper extremity: 2020 n = 45 (58.5%); 2019 n = 25 (53.2%); 2018 n = 25 (78.1%). Lower extremity: 2020 n = 23 (29.9%); 2019 n = 14 (29.7%); 2018 n = 7 (21.8%).

Conclusion: A significant increase in the number of cycling related injuries requiring orthopaedic intervention, a greater proportion of female cyclists and an older mean age of patients affected was observed during the COVID-19 lockdown period compared with previous years. The most common types of injury were fractures followed by lacerations and fracture-dislocations. The upper extremity was the commonest area affected.


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Cite as

Faulkner, A., MacDonald, D., Neilly, D., Davies, P., Ha, T., Stevenson, I., Jariwala, A., Donoghue, C., Lee, A., Bashyam, J., Greensmith, T., MacInnes, A., Pennington, R., Sinnerton, R., Supparamaniam, S., Crome, C., Guiot, L., Harte, C., Kennedy, M., Noteman, T., Scicluna, G., Wheelwright, B., Torkington, M., Jamal, B., Gill, S., Boddie, D. & Ashcroft, G. 2021, 'Cycling injuries requiring orthopaedic intervention during the first COVID-19 lockdown period: A multi-centre SCottish Orthopaedic Research collaborativE (SCORE) study', Surgeon. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surge.2021.05.003

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Last updated: 28 September 2022
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