Bicycle-related shoulder injuries: Etiology and the need for protective gear

Yariv Goldstein, Oleg Dolkart*, Ehud Kaufman, Eyal Amar, Zachary T. Sharfman, Ehud Rath, Gavriel Mozes, Eran Maman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The popularity of bicycle riding for recreation, exercise and transportation has grown enormously in recent years, which has led to an increased incidence of bicyclerelated injuries. While these injuries involve mainly the musculoskeletal system, data on shoulder-specific injuries incurred while bike riding are lacking. Classifying these shoulder injuries may provide insight and assistance in the creation and implementation of effective protective gear and measures. Objectives: To investigate the types and mechanisms of shoulder injuries among cyclists. Methods: This study retrospectively examined all cyclists who incurred shoulder injuries while riding and were admitted to the emergency department and shoulder clinic between January 2008 and November 2013. The study included 157 subjects with various bicycle-related shoulder injuries treated with either conservative or surgical measures. Results: Eighty-four percent of injuries were caused by a direct blow to the shoulder, 7% by falling on an outstretched hand, 6% were traction injuries, and 3% were due to hyperabduction. Nine different clinical types of injury were observed; the most common injuries were clavicle fractures (32%), followed by acromioclavicular joint dislocations (22%), rotator cuff tears (22%), and humeral fractures (8%). Fifty-one percent of subjects were managed with conservative care and the remaining patients required surgical interventions. Conclusions: Shoulder injuries incurred while riding a bicycle span the entire spectrum of shoulder injuries and often result in debilitating conditions. Although the use of helmets is increasing, there is currently no effective protective gear or measures to prevent riders from suffering shoulder injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-26
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016


  • Bicycle
  • Clavicle fractures
  • Protective gear
  • Shoulder injuries


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