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How to protect from falls off bike on wrist?

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Old 05-15-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
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How to protect from falls off bike on wrist?

I fell off my bike and cracked a scaphoid. I am 54 and three years past menopause. Apparently most people who fall off bikes and crack their scaphoids are young men; it's a common biking injury.

As people get older, they only become more likely to break the end of a long arm bone instead, or shatter their wrist in a million pieces. However, since few older people ride bicycles enough to suffer bad falls, it isn't totally clear why more people who break their scaphoids falling off of bicycles are young. I must know a dozen older women who fell some other way, like off the roof, and broke a scaphoid, and my minster's wife fell off her bike and broke her scaphoid. She is older than I am.

I'm unclear on how one falls on an outstretched hand and cracks the scaphoid. Is it from the impact with the ground, or from the impact between bones inside the wrist? Wouild padding or a piece of leather under biking gloves do anything to protect the bones from breaking?

I guess that a splint that stops the hand from bending back is likely to only cause the radius to break instead, and in practice it seems to protect the wrist but people end up with just as much injury elsewhere on their upper body. Speaking as one who once survived a head on crash with a speeding car by somersaulting off the handlebars and over the car, if you can't make good physical and sensory contact with the handlebars, than if something happens you could be dead. Plus falling on an outstretched hand is pretty much what nature intended to happen. You can easily hurt something else alot worse, like your head, your neck, or a collarbone.


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Old 05-19-2011, 07:04 AM   #2
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Re: How to protect from falls off bike on wrist?

Hi Dora, welcome to the board . I too like to go for bike rides, but it sounds like you're more into it than i am. I read up on cracked scaphoid and all i could find as to the why was that its caused from landing hard on the palm of your hand. A couple of years ago our grand daughter broke her elbow after landing hard on it going down a slide. I imagine its the same kind of impact injury.

I don't know if anything you could use would give the protection to prevent it happening again. Its human nature to put your hand down to stop a fall. I have seen classes and videos on how to fall without getting hurt but don't know if something like that would work for bike falls or not.

Sorry i can't be of more help. take care...phyllis
I am so much more than a score, I am strong, healthy, active and like to help others.

Old 05-21-2011, 03:20 PM   #3
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Re: How to protect from falls off bike on wrist?

The last time my bike went down on some sand I didn't put my hand down at all but hung onto the handle bars. From what I have heard from other riders that is most often what you do because a fall usually happens so fast. Though I had a drop handlebar bike that might make a difference. Anyway, falling off a bike , at least to me, is different from slipping or tripping where you would definitely put out your arm. I should say that when I fell I had on a helmet that kept me from a nasty concussion. Hope you're wearing one also.

I agree that there is not anything you can do short of wearing wrist guards and I'm pretty sure those would impede you holding on.

Keep on biking it's great exercise!

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Old 05-21-2011, 08:50 PM   #4
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Re: How to protect from falls off bike on wrist?

Sorry to hear you fell off your bike. I did the same thing a few months ago and held on to the handlebars which are very padded. I fell to the side and landed on my hip on the pavement. Both hips were xrayed and luckily I didn't break a bone. Just messed up my back some, and huge muscle spasms in my back. I hope your scaphoid heals ok.

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