Many of us have crashed our bikes. You fly off a kerb, hit a wall, bash into a lamppost – it happens. However, have you ever degloved your penis as a result?
Let’s get a couple of things out of the way: for someone to deglove their penis, their skin and tissue has to be ripped away, exposing muscle or bone.
Once you’ve recovered from reading that sentence, I’ll make it worse: this happened to a 14-year-old boy on his bike.
Are you ready to hear this? Probably not, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
The teenager was cycling one-handed along a road when he collided with a parked car – causing the handlebars to impale his genital area, inverting his scrotum and degloving his penis.
The young boy, who hasn’t been named, was swiftly taken to A&E at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, in a pelvic binder and the wound packed.
When he arrived, doctors found the teen had sustained some absolutely horrendous injuries.
As per BMJ Case Reports, the boy’s wounds were as follows:
The laceration ran for 12–14 cm from the left groin across the pubis to the right and 10 cm inferiorly into the perineum. This inverted the left scrotum and partially degloved the penis. The corpus cavernosa and tunica vaginalis were exposed up to the level of the superficial inguinal ring.
For the medically unaware, the perineum is commonly known as the ‘gooch’ – just let that sink in for a moment.
The young teen was put under general anesthetic before his wounds were washed out and the damaged tissue removed.
Fortunately, it could have been much, much worse: doctors were able to close up wounds that exposed the deeper tissue protecting the penis and testicles. Four weeks later, doctors said the teen had no major vascular damage and normal sensation in the area.
While it wasn’t confirmed whether the injury would have any effect on his sexual functions in later life, he was soon discharged, armed with antibiotics and special dressings.
Commenting on the case, Dr Hannah Thompson, professor of Paediatric Surgery, University of Oxford and John Radcliffe Hospital, told The Sun:
Handlebar injuries causing blunt abdominal trauma are well described in the literature, however, reports of impalement or degloving injuries are sparse. It is important to note that impalement, as well as severe blunt intra-abdominal injuries may occur due to the small surface area at the edges of handlebars acting in a spear-like fashion.
A prospective study of 813 bicycle-related injuries in children found 21 handlebar injuries, 10 of whom had life-threatening intra-abdominal trauma. In all 10, the bicycle handlebars had no plastic covering on the end of the handle.
We wish the young lad a speedy recovery.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.