Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Cross-sectional Study in a Sub-urban Teaching Hospital
Introduction: Injury is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, in spite of the fact that many of them are preventable. Morbidity and mortalities from these injuries can also be reduced with prompt and appropriate treatment given the right environment and government policies.
Methodology: This is a prospective cross-sectional study of consecutive patients who presented at the emergency room with musculoskeletal injuries severe enough to warrant admission for at least 24 hours from the 1st of July to 31st December, 2011.
Results: Sixty five patients were recruited; mean age was 35.6 (+28) years. Most of the patients (77%) fell within the age group of 20 - 49 years. Male : female ratio was 3:2. Road traffic accidents caused most of the injuries (74%) with passengers affected in 51% of cases. Fifty patients (77%) sustained bony injuries while 15 patients (23%) sustained only soft tissue injuries .The lower limbs were most frequently injured and the tibia/fibula were the most frequently fractured bones.
Conclusion: Injury is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in our environment and it affects mainly the most economically productive age groups. Road traffic accidents, political and communal hostilities, and armed robbery have been shown to play prominent roles in causing significant musculoskeletal trauma in this study.
Key Words: Injuries, Musculoskeletal, Fractures.