Bilateral sciatic nerve injury is a possible iatrogenic complication of unsafe injections in children a retrospective study

  • D.N.A. Akintayo
  • K.I. Oke
  • S.N. Oghumu


Injection-induced sciatic nerve palsy is a major iatrogenic problem which results in disability among children under 6-years-old in the developing countries. It manifests as paresis in the muscles supplied by sciatic nerve distribution associated with a burning pain in the affected extremity. Its sequela is a deformity that limits functional performance in growing children which may last till adulthood. The study is a 5-year retrospective investigation aimed at studying the trend of injection-induced sciatic nerve injuries as documented in a Nigerian Tertiary health facility. It made use of case notes of patients treated for the condition between January 2010 and December 2014. Data which included the age, gender, ethnic group, religion, immunization history, parents’ occupation, centre where injection was administered, side(s) affected and history of injection abscess were retrieved.

The results showed 55 (71.4%) of the 77 cases studied occurred in private hospitals as compared with 15 (19.5%) in government-owned hospitals. 52 (67.5%) patients affected were males while 25 (32.5%) were females. The affected age trend revealed 63.6% to be children below the age of 5years. 5 (6.5%) of the participants developed abscesses following intra muscular injections while 59 (76.6%) had no abscess, while bilateral affectation of the condition occurred in 2 (2.6%)cases.

The study concludes that injection-induced sciatic nerve palsy occurrence is still predominant, especially in private hospitals, with males having higher involvement. The possibility of bilateral limbs affectation calls for increased caution in order that children are prevented from disabilities and resultant quality of life.

Keywords: Bilateral affectation, Sciatic Nerve Palsy, Iatrogenic Complication


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eISSN: 1596-6569