For many people, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are a fun way to explore the outdoors. As an off-road recreational vehicle, ATVs can help riders traverse rural, coastal, and even mountainous landscapes with ease. However, ATVs also pose some potential hazards, especially to inexperienced drivers.
While the total number of ATV-related injuries has been steadily declining over the past decade, nearly 100,000 people are still hurt in ATV accidents each year. Whether the mishap is minor or more severe, our Atlanta Orthopedic Doctors are equipped to diagnose and treat spinal, skeletal, and soft tissue injuries resulting from an ATV accident.
Even though four wheels give ATVs more stability on uneven terrain, they are still susceptible to flipping. Because they have no restraining mechanisms, ATV flips can quickly propel passengers from the vehicle, causing injuries from the impact of such a rough landing. In more severe cases, ATV flips can turn into rolls, pinning riders underneath roughly 350 pounds of machinery.
Despite their compact size, some ATV models are capable of achieving relatively high speeds, which only increases their chances of becoming destabilized and causing harm to riders. And because ATVs are often used in rugged, natural environments, obstacles like trees and boulders present additional hazards to ATV operators that magnify the potential for serious injury.
In some instances, ATV accidents occur due to malfunctions caused by a manufacturing defect or because vehicle maintenance was neglected. In other cases, drivers can incur injuries from operating the ATV while under the influence or without first gaining the proper training. While helmets can help to prevent head trauma, ATV riders of all ages often forego any protective gear, leaving their bodies exposed and vulnerable to being hurt in the event of an accident.
The severity of injuries sustained in ATV accidents can vary from bruising to burns to broken bones. Fractured ribs and leg bones are especially prevalent in both adults and children. Like other motor vehicle mishaps, accidents involving ATVs also frequently result in whiplash, herniated discs, and soft tissue injuries such as sprained muscles or strained ligaments.
Injuries to the head and neck make up 28% of all ATV-related accidents. Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries are the most common and are often exacerbated by riding without protective headgear. In particular, ATV rollover accidents can impact the spine in such a way that it fractures, dislocates, or compresses one or more of the vertebrae, potentially causing trauma to the spinal cord.
After an ATV accident, you may feel sore and have visible injuries. In other cases, you may have suffered hairline fractures or other internal injuries that may not be noticeable or painful at first. Both situations call for a prompt, thorough medical examination to rule out injuries that could cause long-term health damage if left untreated.
The medical team at AICA Orthopedics have the latest imaging technology at their fingertips. With immediate access to X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans, our specialists will be able to pinpoint the source of your pain and identify any subtle injuries that you may have incurred, allowing treatment to begin before they develop into serious problems.
Once we understand the extent of your ATV injuries, our doctors will create a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. Our integrated, whole-person approach brings together multiple branches of medicine and addresses the causes of pain and injury, rather than just treating the symptoms.
Whether your ATV injuries require spinal decompression, physical therapy, or orthopedic surgery, the team of specialists at AICA Orthopedics will coordinate your treatment and ensure that you receive the care you deserve, all in one place. To schedule a consultation at one of our many convenient Atlanta locations, contact us today at (404) 855-2141.