A bicycle ride can be a relaxing way to have fun and get some exercise. But it can also be a terrifying experience if you get injured. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), over 300,000 bike riders were injured in 2020. One particularly dangerous type of injury that few people are familiar with is a ruptured spleen.

What Is a Ruptured Spleen?

The spleen is an important but non-critical organ that sits slightly above your hips on the left side of your body. Just because it isn’t critical to life, though, doesn’t mean that it can be damaged without consequence. When your spleen ruptures, it results in internal bleeding. If this internal bleeding is left untreated, it can be fatal.

How Does a Spleen Rupture?

The most common cause of a ruptured spleen is a forceful blow to your abdomen. If your spleen is enlarged for any reason, it takes less force for it to rupture. Once your spleen is ruptured, you will likely require emergency surgery to remove the organ, though your doctors may be able to repair or treat it.

What Are the Symptoms of a Ruptured Spleen?

Most people will never experience a ruptured spleen, so they don’t know what symptoms to look for. 

The following symptoms are common signs of a ruptured spleen:

  • Pain in the upper left abdomen
  • Tenderness when the abdomen is touched
  • Left shoulder pain
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision

If you have recently been in a bike accident and experienced any of these symptoms, you should get evaluated by a physician. If you can’t get an appointment right away, go to the emergency room.

Bike Accidents and Ruptured Spleens

Spleen injuries are relatively common in bicycle accidents because of the height of the handlebars. When a bike rider strikes an object head-on, their momentum will likely fling their body into the handlebars. For many bike riders, these handlebars line up perfectly with their spleens. The significant impact then causes the spleen to rupture.

Unfortunately, there is little a bike rider can do to prevent a spleen rupture other than avoiding an accident in the first place. Handlebars have to be a certain height to allow for the safe riding of the bike, and when an accident happens, sometimes injuries are simply unavoidable. 

Steering wheels and seat belts do not similarly put car passengers in danger of spleen injuries when at proper heights.

Life Without a Spleen

As mentioned, though the spleen is important, it’s not critical to survival. The purpose of your spleen is to help your body fight infection and filter old blood cells from your bloodstream. However, your body has other organs that also perform these functions.

When your spleen has been removed, your body’s ability to fight infection and filter blood decreases. People who have had their spleens removed take a daily regimen of medications to help make up for this deficiency. 

But if you take care and are diligent about taking these medications, you should have no difficulty living without a spleen after a bike accident.

Riding a Bike After Spleen Damage or Removal

In the immediate weeks after spleen damage, you should avoid riding a bike so your spleen can heal. Additionally, your abdomen will probably be more susceptible to injury for some time. Wearing protective clothing around your abdomen will help protect you from future injuries.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer if You Suffered a Ruptured Spleen in a Bike Accident 

If you’ve suffered a ruptured spleen in a bicycle accident caused by someone else, you may be able to receive compensation for your financial and emotional losses. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your accident and see if you may be entitled to hold the responsible party liable for your damages. 

Contact the New Port Richey Bicycle Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a bicycle accident lawyer in New Port Richey. We have four convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.

We serve throughout Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Pasco County, and its surrounding areas:

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 787-2500

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
(727) 591-5610

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
(813) 686-7588

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655
(727) 815-8442