A growing problem: cycling referrals to the National Centre for Pelvic and Acetabular Fracture Management in Ireland

  • Christopher FenelonEmail author
  • Evelyn P. Murphy
  • Colum Downey
  • Brendan J. O’Daly
  • Michael Leonard
Original Article



Popularity in cycling continues to grow. In Ireland, in the last 5 years, 42% more people now use it to travel to work. This has been mirrored by a rise in cycling-related trauma and deaths. The popularity amongst men has led to the term middle-aged men in Lycra (MAMIL) being coined.


The purpose of our study was to quantify cycling-related pelvic and acetabular fracture referrals in Ireland and determine injury patterns, cost and functional outcomes following these injuries.


A retrospective cohort study was conducted of all referrals to our institution, the National Centre for Pelvis and Acetabular Fracture Management, in 2016 and 2017. Demographic, mechanism of injury, concomitant trauma and treatment data were analysed. Patients were contacted to assess return to work, sport and quality of life (EQ-5D-3L).


Cycling injury referrals increased by 90% between 2016 and 2017 with a greater number of cycling than motorbike injury referrals. Twenty-nine patients sustained a pelvic and acetabular (PA) injury while cycling. The mean patient age was 51.7 years of which 86.2% were male with 41% suffering a concomitant injury. Fourteen patients (48.3%) required surgery of which 60% have returned to cycling. Mean cost of treatment was €11,757. The median EQVAS was 80.


The rise in popularity of cycling has been mirrored by an increase in PA injuries and deaths. These injuries are associated with significant costs to the patient, hospital and society. Greater investment in safety and awareness is needed to protect this vulnerable group.


Acetabular Cost Cycling Fractures Pelvis Trauma 



We would like to thank the orthopaedic and nursing staff of Frank’s Ward in helping maintain the database.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study.


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Centre for Pelvic & Acetabular SurgeryTallaght University HospitalDublinIreland

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