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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2000 Mar;(372):241-9.

Population based epidemiologic and morphologic study of femoral shaft fractures.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.


The epidemiologic and morphologic features of all femoral shaft fractures in skeletally mature patients treated during a 10-year period in a semi-urban county were analyzed. Among an average adult population of 202,592 residents, 192 people sustained 201 traumatic femoral shaft fractures during the study period. The incidence was 9.9 fractures per 100,000 person-years. The highest age and gender specific incidences were seen in males from 15 to 24 years of age and in females 75 years of age or older. Seventy-five percent (151) of the fractures were the result of a high-energy trauma, 131 of which occurred in road traffic accidents. Unexpectedly, there were 50 low-energy fractures. Fractures of the middle 1/3 of the diaphysis were 79%. The majority, 155 (77%), of all fractures were transverse, oblique, or oblique transverse. Regarding the degree of comminution, the Winquist and Hansen Grade 0 (noncomminuted) fracture was the most common. Forty-eight percent of fractures were AO Type A, 39% were Type B, and 13% were Type C fractures. Of the 25 open fractures, 14 were Gustilo Type II. All six Type III open injuries were Type IIIA. Based on the data from the current study, most of the femoral fractures in this community might be treated adequately with conventional intramedullary nails, rather than using interlocking nails, provided the stability of fixation and fracture alignment can be maintained. Preventive measures against femoral shaft fractures should focus on protection of automobile drivers, especially young men, and on effective treatment of osteoporosis in elderly women.

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