Worldwide the third leading cause of death among persons under 40 years is attributed to trauma(1). In Ghana road traffic accidents have a case fatality rate of about 17%(3). Over the years with interventions and policies by AO Alliance the burden and morbidity following trauma especially road traffic accidents have reduced; with a destination in sight where a broken bone is no longer a burden to carry.
Background: Fracture is a loss in the structural continuity of bone which results from injury, repetitive stress, or abnormal weakening of the bone. Globally, fracture injury continues to be an important cause of morbidity and disability both in the developed and developing countries.
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the clinical profile and patterns of extremity fracture patients visiting orthopedic department at TASH, Ethiopia.
Materials and Method: Institutional based retrospective cross-sectional study was carried out. The sample size was 354 and study participants were extermity fracture cases. The data were analyzed using SPSS 21. Chi-square (χ2) test was applied to see if there was any association between the different variables.
Results: Most of the fracture victims, 111 (32.6%), were between the ages of 15 and 29 years. Lower extremity fracture (65.6%) was more common compared to upper extremity (34.7%). The femur (23.7 %) was the commonest fractured bone. The common patterns of fractures were transverse type which accounted for (35.5 %). The leading causes of fractures were road traffic injuries (RTIs) (42.2%) followed by falling down accidents (29.6%). The Cause of fracture and number of bone fracture were significantly associated with age (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The most commonly fractured bone in the extremities was the femur followed by tibia and fibula. Transverse factures followed by communited-type of fractures were the commonest patterns of fracture. The leading cause of fracture was road traffic injury followed by falling-down accidents.
Injuries are the second most common cause of disability, the fifth most common cause of healthy years of life lost per 1000 people and unfortunately 90% of mortality takes place in low-to middle-income countries. Trauma registries guide policymakers and health care providers in decision making in terms of resource allocation as well as enhancing trauma care outcomes. Furthermore data from these registries inform policy makers to decrease the rate of death and disability occurring as a result of injuries. We present our experience in setting up an orthopedic trauma registry and the first short term follow-up of radiological outcomes.
MATERIALS AND METHODOLOGY:
Our study is a non-funded, non-commercial, prospective cohort study that was registered at Research Registry. The primary objectives of our study included assessing pattern of injuries in patients with upper and lower limb skeletal trauma presenting to our tertiary care academic university hospital and their respective outcomes. Data was collected by the musculoskeletal service line team members supervised by an experienced research associate and trauma consultants. The work has been reported in line with the STROCSS criteria.
A total of 177 patients were included in this analysis, of whom 101 (57.1%) patients had lower limb fractures, 64(36.1%) patients ad upper limb fractures and 12 (6.8%) patients had both upper and lower limbs involved. A total of 189 upper and lower limb fracture cases were recorded. 176 patients (93.1%) underwent surgeries and 13(6.9%) were managed nonoperatively. Roentgenographic outcomes were assessed using radiological criteria for each bone fractured.
Establishing a trauma registry assists in identification of the pattern of injuries presenting to the hospital which helps in priority setting, care management and planning. This continuous audit of outcomes in turn, plays a significant role in quality improvement.
Fractures resulting in segmental bone loss challenge the orthopedic surgeon. Orthopedic surgeons in developed countries have the option of choosing vascularized bone transfers, bone transport, allogenic bone grafts, bone graft substitutes and several other means to treat such conditions. In developing countries where such facilities or expertise may not be readily available, the surgeon has to rely on other techniques of treatment. Non-vascularized fibula strut graft and cancellous bone grafting provides a reliable means of treating such conditions in developing countries.Over a period of six years all patients with segmental bone loss either from trauma or oncologic resection were included in the study. Data concerning the type of wound, size of gap and skin loss at tumor or fracture were obtained from clinical examination and radiographs.Ten patients satisfied the inclusion criteria for the study. The average length of the fibula strut is 7 cm, the longest being 15 cm and the shortest 3 cm long. The average defect length was 6.5 cm. Five patients had Gustillo III B open tibial fractures. One patient had recurrent giant cell tumor of the distal radius and another had a polyostotic bone cyst of the femur, which was later confirmed to be osteosarcoma. Another had non-union of distal tibial fracture with shortening. One other patient had gunshot injury to the femur and was initially managed by skeletal traction. The tenth patient had a comminuted femoral fracture. All trauma patients had measurement of missing segment, tissue envelope assessment, neurological examination, and debridement under general anesthesia with fracture stabilization with external fixators or casts. Graft incorporation was 80% in all treated patients.Autologous free, non-vascularized fibula and cancellous graft is a useful addition to the armamentarium of orthopedic surgeon in developing countries attempting to manage segmental bone loss, whether created by trauma or excision of tumors.