Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine

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Epidemiological profile of open fractures at Lagos University Teaching Hospital Lagos Nigeria

G.O. Enweluzo, S.O. Giwa, T.O. Adekoya-Cole, O.O. Badmus, B.O. Mofikoya, D.C. Obalum


Background: Open fractures remain a challenge for orthopedists' as far as stabilization, alignment and skin coverage are concerned all these aside from possible infection. They represent severe injuries with high socioeconomic impact.

Objective: To define the epidemiological profile of patients with open fracture.

Methods: A prospective study of open fracture at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital between July 2008 and June 2011 was carried out using a designed proforma. Data collected included biodata, aetiology of fractures, fracture
site, injury-duration interval, type of treatment, associated lesions, outcome as well as complications.

Results: A total of 261 patients presented with open fractures over a 3year period between July 2008 and June 2011. The studied patients were aged 1 to 85 years with a mean of 32.59 ± 1.23 years. One hundred and ninety (72.8%) were aged below 40years. There were 200 males and 61 females showing male to female ratio 3:1. Road traffic accident was the most common aetiology (80.12%). The most frequently seen fractures were tibia 56.7%, fibula 12.6%. Associated injury was other closed fractures 38.7%. Others were vascular 16.12%, head injury 12.90% and infection rate was 7.3%. An overwhelming majority (64%) were treated with plaster of Paris (Non- operatively)

Conclusion: This study has shown that open fractures of the lower limb were commoner than upper limb fractures. Majority of the injuries were caused by road traffic accident of which motorbike and automobile-pedestrian accident accounted for over 38%. It is our belief that appropriate education of road users and diligent enforcement of the laws will reduce these injuries. It is obviously important for
the orthopaedic surgeon to be familiar with the epidemiological characteristics of open fractures and aim for optimal outcome, prevent complications and decrease hospital stay and cost.

Keywords: Open fracture, Plaster of Paris, Flaps

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