Background: Wage earning in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is predominantly through physical labour. Consequently, limb-related disabilities caused by abnormal fracture unions (AFUs) preclude gainful employment and perpetuate the cycle of poverty. Many AFUs result from traditional bone-setting (TBS), a pervasive treatment for long bone fractures in LMICs. The objective of this study was to accentuate the expediency of solid locked intramedullary nail in the early restoration of victims of traditional TBS-induced abnormal fracture unions (AFUs) to their pre-injury functioning, including work.
Methods: One hundred AFUs in 98 patients treated with a solid locked intramedullary nail in our center over a period of 7 years were prospectively studied.
Results: We found the mean age to be 47.97 years. Males constituted 63.9% of the patients’ population. Atrophic non-union accounted for 54.1% of the AFUs. The mean fracture-surgery interval was 21.30 months. By the 12th post-operative week, more than 75% of the fractures had achieved knee flexion/shoulder abduction beyond 900, were able to squat and smile (or do shoulder abduction-external rotation), and were able to bear weight fully.
Conclusion: The study demonstrated the expediency of solid locked nail in salvaging TBS-induced abnormal fracture unions in a way that permitted early return to pre-injury daily activities and work, thereby reducing fracture-associated poverty.