Amputations Following Traumatic Limb Injuries In Jos, Nigeria
AbstractAIM: To describe the pattern of amputation following trauma in our institution with the view to identify preventable causes and suggest ways of reducing post-traumatic limb loss.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective study of all cases of limb amputations following traumatic injuries seen in Jos University Teaching hospital over a 5-year period (March 1992 – February1997).
RESULTS: A total of 65 amputations were performed in 55 patients with traumatic limb injuries over the study period. There were 45 males and 10 females (M:F = 4.5:1). There ages ranged from 3 years to 70 years ( mean ±SD = 21.6 ±12.5). The peak age incidence of 49.1% occurred in the first decade of life.
Vehicular injuries and falls were the leading causes of trauma accounting for 32.7% and 27.3% respectively. Late presentation was common. Initial treatment by traditional bone setters was noted in 21of the 27 children aged 16 years and below compared to seven of the 28 adults above 16 years (x2 = 15.33; p<0.01). Seventeen patients had various complications, the commonest being wound infection. A mortality rate of 5.5% was observed.
CONCLUSION: Initial presentation of patients with limb injuries to traditional bone setters is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Appropriate legislation to check the excesses of traditional bone setters should reduce the number of amputations following limb trauma.
Key words: Amputation, Trauma, Traditional bone setters, Younger age.
Highland Medical Research Journal Vol.2(1) 2004: 56-60