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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012 Mar;70(3):577-83. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2011.03.035. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

A comparison of motorcycle and bicycle accidents in oral and maxillofacial trauma.

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Department of Oral Diagnosis, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Piracicaba Dental School, Universidade Estadual de Campinas - UNICAMP, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil.



The aim of this study was to present a large series of motorcycle- and bicycle-related traumas to the face in an attempt to identify the injury pattern in motorcyclists and bicyclists.


Data were collected from patients during a 10-year period (1999 through 2009), which included demographic data, diagnosis of facial fractures, use of protective devices, dentoalveolar trauma, and facial soft tissue injuries.


There were 556 patients with bicycle accidents and 367 with motorcycle accidents. Men were involved in 79% (436) of bicycles accidents and 82% (299) of motorcycle accidents. Young male patients were more frequent in bicycle and motorcycle accidents. Two hundred fifty bicyclists showed 311 maxillofacial fractures. Two hundred twenty-one motorcyclists showed 338 maxillofacial fractures. Motorcycle accidents caused multiple fractures in more patients. Seventy-six percent of motorcyclists were using helmets at the time of the accidents, whereas 6% of cyclists were using helmets. Motorcyclists showed a larger number of lacerations, whereas bicyclists showed a larger number of abrasions. Avulsion was the most common dentoalveolar injury for these accident types. Hospital stays were 3.8 days for motorcyclists and 1.3 days for bicyclists.


The high-impact collisions typically observed in motorcycle accidents is directly related to larger percentages of soft tissue lacerations and facial fractures. The low-impact trauma that is observed in bicycle accidents is more commonly associated with soft tissue abrasion, hematoma, and dentoalveolar fractures. This stresses the need for compulsory legislation for helmet use with face-guards for cyclists and motorcyclists. It is important to take measures to alert the public regarding the severity of injuries likely to occur in bicycle- and motorcycle-related accidents and ways to prevent them.

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