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A Polypropylene Protection Device In Preventions Of Tibial Shaft Fractures In Two-Wheeled Vehicle Drivers

* Mishra AK (Dr) Major

*Graded Specialist Orthopaedics, Military Hospital Jalandhar Cantt,
Jalandhar – 144005, Punjab-India.

Address for Correspondence

Mishra AK (Dr) Major
Graded Specialist Orthopaedics,
Military Hospital Jalandhar Cantt, Jalandhar – 144005,


Tibial shaft fractures are one of the commonest long bone fractures amongst the two-Wheeled- vehicle drivers seen in day today’s orthopaedic practice. These fractures are Usually displaced, comminuted and compound due to high velocity trauma. Polypropylene protection device secured around the leg similar to the ‘safety helmet’ can help in reducing the incidence of tibial shaft fractures and its compounding in two wheeler drivers. 
Key words: Two wheeler drivers; tibial shaft fractures; polypropylene protection device. 

J.Orthopaedics 2006;3(1)e7


Tibial shaft fractures are the commonest long bone fractures resulting in considerable  amount of morbidity. In today’s mechanized society most of these fractures are caused by high velocity injuries especially  involving two wheelers as they are highly unstable and offer little protection to its rider as compared to the car [1, 2]. By its very location the tibia is prone to frequent injuries. Tibia is most frequent site of an open fracture, with incidence ranging from 49.4% to 63.2% [3].  Furthermore, the blood supply of the tibia is more precarious than bones that are enclosed by heavy muscles. High-energy tibial fractures are associated with compartment syndrome or neural or vascular injuries.

Delayed union, non-union and infections are relatively common complications of the tibial shaft fractures [4].The use of ‘crash helmets’ has been shown to lower the mortality in major accidents involving motor cyclists. A similar light weight Polypropylene protection device around the leg extending from the knee to the ankle can be quite useful in prevention of or reducing such injuries in two wheeler drivers.

Construction: The proposed device is fabricated by polypropylenesheets that are being used regularly in making of artificial limbs and various orthopedic braces. It can be easily moulded according to the shape required. The device has an outer smooth surface of polypropylene and inner sponge padding of approximately 5 cm to absorb the kinetic energy and reduce the impact over the tibia.

Placement: The device is secured in front and around the leg with the help of three Velcro straps (Fig 1).


India has the highest road accident rates in the world - one of every forty two vehicle in country had met with an accident in 1986. In US and Europe the average is 1 in every 100 vehicles[2]. A large proportion of vehicles involved were two wheelers. The lower Limbs are involved in 49 .6 % of motor cycle accidents with soft tissues and bony  damage being particularly severe below the knee. It has been recommended that anterior and lateral aspect of the tibia should be protected by the motorcyclist wearing knee length over boots. Casserly reported that the wearing of ‘Levis’ jeans by motorcyclists made increasingly popular by recent television commercial offers little protection to the endangered knee and have recommended those commercially available kneepads to be worn by all motorcyclists [5]. The proposed polypropylene device for the tibia is definitely stronger and much safer than leather clothing’s, knee length over-boots, or ‘Levis’ jeans. This will certainly reduce the incidence of   tibial shaft fractures and or its Compounding   in high velocity trauma resulting from two wheeler accidents. Further research can  prove the effectiveness of the device and develop better alternatives.

Reference :

  1. Thomas AR. Fractures of the Tibia and Fibula. In : Rockwood CA. Jr, Green DP,Bucholz RW, editors. Rockwood and Green’s fractures in adults. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: JB Lippencott, 1991; 1915-82.

  2. Park K. Accidents. In Park’s Text Book of Preventive and Social Medicine.16th ed.M/s Banarsidas Bhanot, 1167, Premnagar, Jabalpur, 2000; 301-4.

  3. Monti K, Michael JB. David BH, et al. Outcome in open tibia fractures: Relationship Between delay in treatment and infection. Journal of Trauma2003; 55: 955-58.

  4. Whittle AP. Fractures of lower extremity. In: Cannale ST, editors. Campbell’s Operative Orthopaedics . 9th ed.  Philadelphia: Mosby-Yearbook.1998; 2042-179 .

  5. Casserly H. ‘Levis’ jeans and motorcycle knee injuries. Injury 1991; 22: 422 -23.


This is a peer reviewed paper 

Please cite as : Mishra AK: A Polypropylene Protection Device In Preventions Of Tibial Shaft Fractures In Two-Wheeled Vehicle Drivers

J.Orthopaedics 2006;3(1)e7





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