Pattern of femoral fractures and associated injuries in a Nigerian tertiary trauma centre
Background: The femur is the strongest and largest bone in the human body. It therefore requires high-energy trauma for it to fracture unless there is an ongoing pathology that weakens the bone. Femoral fractures are thus associated with significant pain, deformities, bleeding and varying degrees of injuries. The aim of this study is to determine the pattern of femoral fractures and the associated injuries in our region while recommending possible means of averting these injuries.
Materials and Methods: A 10-year retrospective study was done in National Orthopedic Hospital Enugu from 1994 to 2003. The demographic data, etiology, the part of femur affected and associated injuries were collated from the hospital records/folders. The analysis was performed using descriptive statistics in Microsoft Excel 2007.
Results: A total of 562 cases were reviewed, 63.7% of all the patients were males and the most common etiological factor was road traffic accidents. The site of fracture varied with age and etiology with 26.5% occurring at the mid-shaft with an average age of 27.2 years and 16% occurring at the neck of femur, more in the elderly, with 55.6% following minor falls and trips. The most common associated injury was soft tissue injuries requiring secondary wound closure.
Conclusion: Femoral fractures are common and the pattern varies with age and the mechanism of injury. They are associated with other injuries that may be life-threatening.
Keywords: Associated injuries, femoral fractures, Nigeria, pattern