Pattern and Trauma Mechanisms of Paediatric Long Bone Fractures in Lagos, Nigeria
Background: There are few reports on trauma mechanisms in children in Nigeria. Knowledge of the pattern of injuries and trauma mechanisms should help formulate injury prevention measures. The objective of this study was to determine the pattern and trauma mechanisms in children with long bone fractures managed in our hospital during the study period
Methods: A prospective 18-month study involving children aged 16 years and below who sustained long bone fractures. Biographic data, bones fractured, trauma mechanisms and associated injuries were recorded.
Results: There were 241 children recruited into the study. Mean age was 5 years and 8 months. 22.8% were aged one year and below. Males were almost twice as many as females. The radius/ulna was most frequently fractured in 29.6% and the femur least injured in 9.9%. Upper limb fractures accounted for 58% and the commonest mechanisms of injury were falls in 62.1% and birth injuries in 16.5%. There were associated soft tissue injuries in 5%. The fractures were mostly managed non-operatively (98.8%) with satisfactory outcome in all cases.
Conclusions: Safety precautions should be integrated into the training of children to reduce the incidence of injuries sustained during play as well as making the play environment safe. Improved obstetric care, trauma prevention public education and enforcement of traffic regulations are suggested to reduce the incidence of injuries and fractures.
Key words: Paediatric fractures, long bone fractures, mechanism of injury, birth trauma, playground safety