Complications after intramedullary nailing of femoral fractures in a low-income country.

Some surgeons believe that internal fixation of fractures carries too high a risk of infection in low-income countries (LICs) to merit its use there. However, there have been too few studies from LICs with sufficient follow-up to support this belief. We first wanted to determine whether complete follow-up could be achieved in an LIC, and secondly, we wanted to find the true microbial infection rate at our hospital and to examine the influence of HIV infection and lack of follow-up on outcomes.137 patients with 141 femoral fractures that were treated with intramedullary (IM) nailing were included. We compared outcomes in patients who returned for scheduled follow-up and patients who did not return but who could be contacted by phone or visited in their home village.79 patients returned for follow-up as scheduled; 29 of the remaining patients were reached by phone or outreach visits, giving a total follow-up rate of 79%. 7 patients (5%) had a deep postoperative infection. All of them returned for scheduled follow-up. There were no infections in patients who did not return for follow-up, as compared to 8 of 83 nails in the group that did return as scheduled (p = 0.1). 2 deaths occurred in HIV-positive patients (2/23), while no HIV-negative patients (0/105) died less than 30 days after surgery (p = 0.03).We found an acceptable infection rate. The risk of infection should not be used as an argument against IM nailing of femoral fractures in LICs. Many patients in Malawi did not return for follow-up because they had no complaints concerning the fracture. There was an increased postoperative mortality rate in HIV-positive patients.

Ineffective insurance in lower and middle income countries is an obstacle to universal health coverage.

Recent health policy efforts have sought to promote universal health coverage (UHC) as a means of providing affordable access to health services to populations. However, insurance schemes are heterogeneous, and some schemes may not provide necessary services to those covered. We explored the prevalence and determinants of ineffective insurance across 42 lower and middle income countries (LMICs) from the 2002-2004 World Health Survey.Respondents were defined as having ineffective health insurance if they reported being insured and: were forced to borrow or sell personal items to pay for health services; had an untreated chronic condition; or had recently delivered a child outside of a skilled health facility (women only).Among the insured, 13% had ineffective insurance, which was most commonly due to having to borrow or sell to pay for health care. The likelihood of ineffective insurance was lowest in upper-middle income countries and higher in other lower-middle and low-income countries. Ineffective insurance also decreased with family wealth and was higher among rural residents.Our findings suggest that a high proportion of insurance in LMICs is ineffective, particularly among those who need it most, and that attention should be paid to effectiveness when defining health insurance in policy conversations about UHC.

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis in Ramathibodi Hospital.

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis is rare in Asiatic Indonesian-Malays. Seven cases (9 hips) of this condition in Ramathibodi Hospital including five boys (average age, 12.5 years) and two girls (average age, 13 years) were reviewed. Most of the cases (4 out of 7) were acute on chronic and mild slips. No endocrine disorder was observed in all cases. All of the patients had a body weight above the mean of the normal population, four of which were obese. For the treatment, a single screw fixation including one case with cancellous and six cases with cannulated type were used. In the follow-up of average 2.5 years, six cases had satisfactory results. Avascular necrosis occurred in one case with mild and chronic slips in which a cancellous screw was used. It is concluded that obesity is the important factor related to the etiology in this study and probably is the same in other developing countries. The effect of a cancellous screw causing avascular necrosis is still questionable.

Internal fixation of femoral shaft fractures in children by intramedullary Kirschner wires (a prospective study): its significance for developing countries.

To evaluate internal fixation by intramedullary Kirschner wires as a surgical technique in the treatment of femoral shaft fractures in children by a prospective study.17 femoral shaft fractures at various levels in 16 children aged 2-15 years were treated by closed intramedullary Kirschner wiring under image intensifier control between May 2000 and October 2003. No external splint was used.Fracture union was achieved in 6-14 weeks. Non-weight bearing crutch walking was started 2-3 days after surgery. Full weight bearing started 6-14 weeks. Average operative time was 40 min (range 20-72 min). Wires were removed after 8-22 weeks. There were no infections, no limb length disparity. One child had pin track ulceration. A big child of 14 years had angulation of the fracture.Intramedullary nailing of femoral shaft fractures in children by stainless steel Kirschner wires is an effective method, which compares well with other studies. It is a simple procedure, which can be easily reproduced. Blood loss is minimal, and the operative time short. There is no need pre-bend the wires in a C or S curve. Stainless steel Kirschner wires are cheap, universally available, and can be manufactured locally. The cost of Image intensifiers is affordable in most of the cities of the developing countries. The hospital does not have to maintain a costly inventory. Provides early mobility, return to home and, school. Gives a predictable clinical pathway and reduces occupancy of hospital beds. The technique was successfully applied for internal fixation of other diaphyseal fractures in children and some selected diaphyseal fractures in adults. Based on my experience and a review of the literature, I recommend this technique as a modality for treatment of femoral shaft fractures in children aged 2 to 14 years.