Document Type



Orthopaedic Surgery; Emergency Medicine; Surgery; Neurosurgery


Introduction: Motorcycles are an inexpensive and popular mode of transportation in Karachi, Pakistan, despite the increasing number of motor vehicle injuries. Although motorcycle-related injuries have been studied previously, to our knowledge, there are no published reports on the orthopedic injuries associated with motorcycles crashes.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of medical records of patients with motorcycle-related injuries in 2015, at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. We reviewed the patient demographic and medical data, helmet use, the Glasgow coma score, the spectrum of injuries, length of stay, specific injury diagnosis, and final disposition of patients. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 20.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY).
Results: We identified 450 motorcycle crash injuries. Ninety percent of these victims were males, and 81% were driving at the time of the crash. More than 50% of crashes involved patients age under 29 years, and most crashes (35%) involved patients in the third decade of life. We observed that 6.8% of accidents involved patients younger than 10 years of age. For all the motorcycle-related injuries, 45% occurred during the weekend (Saturday and Sunday). Helmets were worn by only 7% of patients. The most common types of collisions were motorcycle versus car followed by lone motorcycle fall. Of the injuries sustained, the cumulative frequency of orthopedic injuries was the highest (63%), of which 34% were lower limb injuries and 29% were upper limb injuries. The second highest frequency of injuries were head injuries (46%). We also found that 85% motorcycle injury victims sustained fractures.
Conclusion: The frequency of motorcycle-related injuries was high among young adults, and closed fractures of the lower limbs were the most common orthopedic injuries related to motorcycle crashes. Use of helmets among motorcyclists needs to be reinforced to prevent head injuries. We suggest motorcyclists to use protective clothes and motorcycle sidebars to prevent fractures of the lower limb. Further research is needed to determine the type of fractures, type of head injuries, surgical interventions required, and morbidity and mortality in motorcycle-related injuries and whether designing separate lanes for motorcycles will reduce the burden of these injuries on the healthcare system.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.