When I was growing up, I’d see guys on motorcycles wearing leather jacks, pants and boots. They looked really tough and scary. Then one day I realized why they dressed like that. They weren’t hoods. They were smart cyclists! They wore those clothes to protect themselves in the event of a motorcycle crash where they might go skidding across the roadway. Instead of their skin getting ripped (road rash), their clothes took the hit.
Serious road rash injuries may require skin graft procedures
Some motorcycle accidents result in minor road rash injuries. However, there are some injuries that may be severe enough to require a skin graft procedure, where surgeons harvest skin from other parts of the body and sew it into the wounded areas.
Severe road rash is just as painful and quite similar to being burned. As in burn injuries, there are three degrees of road rash.
- First-degree: The first layer of skin is abraded but the abrasions are minor.
- Second-degree: The road rash breaks through the epidermis (the protective outer layer of the skin) and may break the dermis (the thick layer of living tissue below the epidermis) but does not penetrate all the way to the muscle.
- Third-degree: The abrasions break through all layers of skin and down to the muscle and other soft tissue.
In cases of severe second-degree or third degree road rash, skin grafts are usually required.
Two types of skin grafts
There are two types of skin grafts that the surgeon may choose. The second type is for the most severe road rash injuries.
- Split-level skin grafts, where only one layer of skin is removed for the graft.
- Full thickness skin grafts, where the epidermis, dermis, blood vessels and muscles are needed for the graft.
With split-level skin graft surgeries, the patient can leave the hospital within a few days, while full thickness grafts may require longer hospitalization.
I hope you never have to experience a motorcycle accident, but if you should and it is caused by another driver, give me a call so we can discuss your case. You may be owed compensation for your injuries, including medical bills, loss wages, and pain and suffering.
If you love cycling, please wear proper attire and a helmet and be safe out there!
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If you have any questions about this article or any area of personal injury law, please refer to the contact info below.
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Little Rock, AR 72206
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