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Thread: Deep Road Rash

  1. #1
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    Deep Road Rash

    Hey all,

    Just had my first serious get off today. I was on a quick ride before sundown and hit a patch of gravel at decent speed. Before I knew it I was sliding on the gravel. I have some pretty bad scrapes on my right knee and elbow. I flushed them with water using a removable shower head and bandaged them up with a gauze pad, coban, and some antibiotic ointment.

    However, it looks pretty deep. Should I bother going to urgent care for this or just HTFU? What can I do to keep riding while it heals?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honda Guy View Post

    However, it looks pretty deep. Should I bother going to urgent care for this or just HTFU? What can I do to keep riding while it heals?
    Closing wounds is generally done within 6-8 hours. Some cases, up to 24 hours, but likely not yours given the dirt. So no matter how deep, you are likely not going to get stitched up at this point.

    Keep it clean, keep it moist, keep it covered. That will minimize the scab, which you don't want to pick off. Unless you want to maximize the scar, then pick away.

    If it's not too painful, and if riding does not make it bleed again, you'll be fine getting some rides in soon.

    You may find more pains crop up the first 48 hours post crash, btw.

    Heal well!
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  3. #3
    Forever a Student
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    Step 1: Brave Soldier

    Step 2: Tegaderm


    If it really is deep/closeable, you're probably too late, but steri strips are the key.
    use a torque wrench

  4. #4
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    I'd bet that members over at mountainbikereview.com have more experience with this issue.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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    Watch for signs of infection. Get that handled quickly.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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    Besides keeping it flushed and clean (more dirt will find it's way out after the initial flush) father time heals all wounds.

    These things can make the toughest man whimper. Hop back on the bike asap but be ready to open up the wounds from the stretch of the skin riding causes. It's ok...it goes away quick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Migen21 View Post
    Watch for signs of infection. Get that handled quickly.
    This! Remember, bleeding (not profuse of course) is your friend when it comes to infection. If the wound didn't bleed when it happened, that's a red flag. If you see red streaks or if the area gets very hot, get yourself to a doc ASAP!
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    I'd bet that members over at mountainbikereview.com have more experience with this issue.
    Wrong. Road rash from the road is significantly worse that crashing on the MTB. Hence the name "road rash".

    + Eleventy Million on the Tegaderm. It will be your best friend in the days to come.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Scorcho View Post
    Wrong. Road rash from the road is significantly worse that crashing on the MTB. Hence the name "road rash".

    + Eleventy Million on the Tegaderm. It will be your best friend in the days to come.
    Who would have thought? I thought road rash was something only mountain bikers got banging into trees and rocks.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Scorcho View Post
    Road rash from the road is significantly worse that crashing on the MTB.
    This falls squarely in the "it depends" category.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Scorcho View Post
    Wrong. Road rash from the road is significantly worse that crashing on the MTB. Hence the name "road rash".

    + Eleventy Million on the Tegaderm. It will be your best friend in the days to come.
    Tegaderm is great. I prefer to place a barrier between it and the wound so as to avoid pulling away any new tissue when removing the tegaderm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wetworks View Post
    Tegaderm is great. I prefer to place a barrier between it and the wound so as to avoid pulling away any new tissue when removing the tegaderm.
    Hydrocolloid bandages (like J&J Advanced Healing) are better than Tegaderm, especially for large-surface wet wounds like road rash. The adhesive absorbs moisture from the wound and expands into a gel that both cushions the wound against outside irritation and prevents it from sticking. They're magic, IME. (though expensive, even more than Tegaderm).
    We are far from pefect,
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Scorcho View Post
    Wrong. Road rash from the road is significantly worse that crashing on the MTB. Hence the name "road rash". ...
    Well, all the MTB fanatics I know seem to injure themselves fairly frequently...
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Well, all the MTB fanatics I know seem to injure themselves fairly frequently...
    Yes, lots of small cuts and scrapes, abrasions and bruising. But the real quality road rash requires asphalt and speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    Hydrocolloid bandages (like J&J Advanced Healing) are better than Tegaderm, especially for large-surface wet wounds like road rash. The adhesive absorbs moisture from the wound and expands into a gel that both cushions the wound against outside irritation and prevents it from sticking. They're magic, IME. (though expensive, even more than Tegaderm).
    Yup, my preference to use as well. In the past I've rigged some of my own using cut to size 4x4s and medical-grade honey, with tegaderm as a barrier. Of course, it can't stay on as long due to how moist it gets, but it does help in healing nevertheless.

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    If it wasn't readily apparent that you needed to go to urgent care, then you probably don't. I've crashed several times on the road bike, but only a few of those resulted in more than minor cuts/scrapes/bruises, and out of those few only one required going to urgent care and it was "painfully obvious" that I needed to go.

    Anecdote time! It was my very first road bike ride ever, and I went down in some sand/gravel around 35 mph. Ended up losing all the skin on the outside of my right forearm, outside of left leg from ankle to hip, right leg from ankle to knee, and about 1/4 of my back, mostly upper/mid right side. You could literally see exposed bone on my right hip, 4 ribs, left wrist, left elbow, left kneecap, and left ankle, and some of the scrapes were quite deep and over a wide enough area that there was nothing to stitch up or close- my right hip was just missing a big chunk and my left thigh looked like the coarse side of a cheese grater went to town. Fortunately/unfortunately, I was wearing winter gear and was only able to see a small portion of these injuries, so I rode another 20 miles or so before the initial adrenaline rush wore off and shock started to set in pretty good. Called for a ride back home, and as soon as I started peeling off layers it was immediately apparent that I was going to the ER. Spent 6 hours in the ER getting gravel and sand scrubbed out of all of it, and was sent home with a value size tube of Silvadene and a bunch of antibiotics. It was over a month before enough bandages came off that I could get back on the bike, and another month before I could legit go for a ride. I'm still terrified of debris in the road to this day, though a little less so after learning how to ride through it on a motorcycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Scorcho View Post
    Yes, lots of small cuts and scrapes, abrasions and bruising. But the real quality road rash requires asphalt and speed.
    Rocks and sticks that cause deep puncture/laceration wounds are far more common on the trail. Gravel fire roads give you road rash PLUS. And I do know people who have gone down, gotten chewed up, gone over an edge, and slid through poison oak.

    Think about that last one for a minute.

    I think it is true that on the road you are more likely to slide for distance, most of the time. More skin lost, on average. But I've gotten large areas of skin abraded on the trail too, and those wounds were very irregular, with some deep gouges. And they were pretty packed with dirt. And for wounds requiring stitches, I would put mtb a bit higher in risk than road.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

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    I go over the handlebars about every 2 years, on road. High pavement separators, deep holes, speed bumps in the dark, high gravel berms when run off the road by a vehicle, improperly tightened stem (new bike), ball players in the street, have done it. Having suffered road rash since 1957, and having required stitches twice, I wear long pants & long sleeves, thick polyester work clothing mostly (dickies), I do have a polyester tunic over top the dickies with bright orange or green. No lycra. Nothing bike suppliers sell looks suitable to me for riding bicycles on the real road, only on varnished wood tracks. I ride at up to 104 deg F, up to 45 miles, and if I get warm I take a drink of water. At age 67 my last scar has healed up, the one on my chin from 1961. So far I haven't broken anything.

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    At least that helmet would keep my chin off the pavement - which I've scraped three times.
    That leather or vinyl suit looks a little impervious to sweat for the hot days.
    The red kap 100% cotton snap workshirts in long sleeves have been pavement tested by me- and passed. Up to 8 mph, https://www.automotiveworkwear.com/U...rk-shirts.html
    All cotton - even better at soaking up and evaporating sweat than polyester-cotton dickies. But the polyester would be better at higher speeds than I have dismounted at.
    Last edited by indianajo; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:42 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by indianajo View Post
    At least that helmet would keep my chin off the pavement - which I've scraped three times.
    That leather or vinyl suit looks a little impervious to sweat for the hot days.
    The red kap 100% cotton snap workshirts in long sleeves have been pavement tested by me- and passed. Up to 8 mph, https://www.automotiveworkwear.com/U...rk-shirts.html
    All cotton - even better at soaking up and evaporating sweat than polyester-cotton dickies. But the polyester would be better at higher speeds than I have dismounted at.
    Forget the suit of armor. May I suggest a recumbent bike? They are very comfy and can carry a trailer.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  22. #22
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    In the future, anything remotely deep you'd want sutures so you don't develop major keloid scars. Emergency room physicians, physician assistants, nurses are typically very busy and will only provide you the minimum necessary care. Sometimes you need to ask if XX like suturing needs to be done before they actually do it.

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    If you haven't had a tetanus shot in the last 3 or 4 years, get one immediately.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

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