An unusual mechanism of sideswipe injury in passengers traveling in a train and review of literature

Int J Burns Trauma. 2021 Oct 15;11(5):350-356. eCollection 2021.


Introduction: Sideswipe injuries are most commonly described in passengers traveling in a car or bus, but here we report an unusual mode of sideswipe injuries, in passengers traveling in a train sitting on window seats with elbow protruding outside the window.

Case series: Four patients reported to our Orthopaedic emergency 2 hours after a railway track accident with more or less similar pattern of injury, an open proximal forearm monteggia fracture-dislocation with bone and soft tissue loss along with closed fracture humerus, and with or without radial nerve palsy and intact distal pulses. We followed a multidisciplinary approach with initial wound lavage followed by wound debridement, stabilization of monteggia and humerus fractures with different justifiable modalities of treatment with an exploration of the radial nerve.

Discussion and conclusion: Sideswipe injury is a well-known case entity in literature, classically described mode of trauma is when an elbow protruding out of the window of a vehicle struck by a moving or fixed object. However, in our series patients sitting in a train on window seat with elbow protruding outside sustained sideswipe injury which has not been reported in literature. We also explained the mechanism of impact forces caused bony and soft tissue injury in our series presented in diagrammatic representation. Hence, the purpose of this case series is to spread the awareness regarding such kind of preventable injury which can be easily prevented with awareness, and an appropriate preventive measure can be taken by the local administration.

Keywords: Sideswipe injury; baby car injury; dislocation; humerus shaft fracture; monteggia fracture; railway tract injury.

Publication types

  • Review