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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 199-204

Epidemiology of lower limb musculoskeletal trauma with associated vascular injuries in a tertiary care institute in India


Department of Orthopaedics, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Siva Swaminathan Santhanam
Department of Orthopaedics, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.201702

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Background: Vascular trauma associated with bony injuries is an orthopaedic emergency. Lack of timely intervention can lead to loss of limb or even life. Inspite of the rising incidence of high speed road traffic accidents in India, there is paucity of literature regarding the demographic pattern, clinical morbidity, management strategies and outcome of arterial injuries associated with lower limb trauma. The aim of this study is to describe the epidemiology and outcome of lower extremity musculoskeletal trauma with associated vascular injuries in a tertiary care institute in India. Materials and Methods: All individuals who presented to our tertiary care trauma center from July 2013 to December 2014 with lower extremity vascular injury associated with lower limb fractures were identified from a retrospective trauma database for this descriptive study. For the 17 months, there were 82 lower extremity vascular trauma cases admitted in our trauma center, of which 50 cases were included in the study. 32 patients with crush injuries, traumatic amputations, and those with head injury and blunt trauma to chest or abdomen were excluded from the study. Results: Out of the 50 cases of lower extremity vascular injury with associated lower limb fractures, 19 limbs were salvaged, 28 amputated, and three patients expired. Young males in the age group of 20–39 years were frequently injured. Motor vehicle accident (MVA) (82%) was found to be the most common cause followed by pedestrian injury. Popliteal artery (62%) was the most common vessel injured, followed by femoral artery (28%). The salvageability percentage was much higher (64%) in the femoral artery injury group when compared to popliteal artery injury group (25%). There were 32 open fractures, with amputation rates (60%) being higher and all three cases of death falling in this group. In addition, the limb salvageability percentage was 43.2% when the patient presented within 12 h of injury and this decreased to a mere 16.7% when the patient had presented more than 24 h after injury. Conclusion: MVAs are the leading cause of vascular injuries in India. Road safety measures and prevention programs are the need of the hour to prevent these kinds of injuries in the future.


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