'Potholes cause shocks to bike riders' backbone'

Medical director of Hosmat hospital Dr Ajit Benedict Rayan says the number of backbone related cases to his hospital have increased as the pounding rain leaves more potholes on the roads.

Increasing potholes in city roads are the chief reason for back problems in many bike riders, say orthopaedic doctors.

People riding their bikes along roads punctuated with potholes suffer maximum shocks to their vertebral column or backbone, they say.

Medical director of Hosmat hospital Dr Ajit Benedict Rayan says the number of backbone related cases to his hospital have increased as the pounding rain leaves more potholes on the roads.

Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Trauma and Orthopaedics medical director Dr H S Chandrashekhar points out that compression fracture and coccyx fracture (tail-bone fracture) is common among bike riders.

“While falling, the rider suffers ligament tear or ankle sprain. But the vertebral column with 33 bones is safeguarded by the muscles,” Dr Chandrashekhar explained.

On the contrary, when the rider bumps along a pothole-filled road, the backbone works hard to keep the bones in-tact. So the rider feels severe backache.

“When the pillion rider falls, he/she tries to avoid further damage by placing the hand on the ground, injuring their wrists. We have seen cases of ankle and thigh bone injuries too,” added Rayan.

While no pothole-related deaths or injuries reported so far this year, it claimed four deaths in 2017. Radha Anjanappa (47) was crushed under the wheels of a speeding truck while skirting around a pothole in Mysuru Road, while her 24-year-old nephew Ravi Kumar suffered injuries.

On October 2, 2017, Anthony Joseph (55) with his wife Sagai Mary (53) on the pillion was mowed down by a bus as he tried wielding his bike around a pothole in Mysuru Road flyover. The potholes continue to pose danger to the riders.

Also, G Veena lost her life while riding with her sister G Lakshmi (24), when she was knocked down by a truck while avoiding a pothole in Devanahalli in the city outskirts. Lakshmi suffered severe injuries.

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