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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-9

Pattern of extremity injuries in polytrauma in Lagos, Nigeria

Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Lagos/ Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
G O Enweluzo
Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Lagos/ Lagos University Teaching Hospital
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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BACKGROUND: Extremity injuries are common in polytrauma, which remains a leading cause of death, long hospitalisation and disability for all ages. There are few research works on the pattern of these extremity injuries in Lagos, Nigeria. OBJECTIVE: To describe the pattern of extremity (limb) injuries in polytraumatised patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a prospective study carried out at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, between 1st November 2004 and 31st October 2006. RESULTS: A total of 291 patients presented with multiple injuries between November 2004 and October 2006. All of them had extremity injuries. The studied patients were aged 2 to 76 years with a mean of 31.2 +/- 16.4. Two hundred and twenty two (76.3%) of the patients were aged 40 years or less. There were 219 males and 72 females showing a male to female ratio of 3:1 Road traffic accident was the most common aetiology (73.2%). The most frequently seen fractures were tibia 27.8%, femur and fibula 24.7% each. An overwhelming majority (88.8%) had multiple fractures. The commonest fracture combinations were tibia/ fibula 24.7% and radius/ulna 19.6%. The most frequently associated injury was head injury 26.8%. Others were spinal and abdominal injuries 13.4% each. Hip dislocation accounted for a majority (56%) of all dislocations seen in this study. CONCLUSION: Lower extremity injuries were commoner than upper extremity injuries in polytrauma. Majority of them had multiple fractures especially among bones that have close anatomical location. Head injury was the most commonly associated injury.

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