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Traumatic long bone fractures in children seen in a metropolitan tertiary hospital in Enugu, Nigeria

Wilfred O. Okenwa
Anthony J. Edeh


Injuries in children are a well-known occurrence and often lead to fractures. The fractures may affect long bones, occur in all ages and could be accidental or non-accidental with associated injuries that may cause disability or permanent deformity. Lack of epidemiological research on causes, mechanism of injury and site of long bone fractures in children in our environment prompted this study. The study evaluates variables that maybe responsible for long bone fractures in children and document them accordingly for use in planning injury prevention strategies in children. The study was carried out in a tertiary hospital in a metropolitan city (Enugu State University of Science and Technology [ESUT] Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria). Medical records of patients, ward admission register, accident and emergency register and theatre registers were used for data collection. Children under 16 years who presented to the hospital with long bone fractures between January 2015 and December 2017 were part of the study. Eighty-five children with 86 long bone fractures out of 258 children that presented and were admitted into the orthopedic service were noted. Mean age of patients was 7.2 years + 1.8 years. The commonest long bone fractured was the femur n- 23 (26.7%). Males-female ratio was 1.15:1. Fall from height was the commonest cause of injury and abrasion/laceration the commonest associated injuries. Long bone fractures in children occur mostly due to falls from height and affects the femur more than any other bone. Bimodal annual occurrence rate has been noted and caregivers ought to be more vigilant during those times to help reduce the rate of long bone fractures in children.

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eISSN: 1694-0423