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West Afr J Med. 2006 Oct-Dec;25(4):273-5.

Causes of limb amputations in Nigerian children.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.



Most reports on amputations in Nigeria have been on adults. Few published data exist on the causes of amputations in children.


A retrospective analysis of all children who had limb amputations from January 1998 to December 2004 at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife was made.


Thirty five (32.7%) out of 107 patients who had major limb amputations were children. The mean age was 9.9 years. Trauma accounted for 74.3% of the amputations, 92.3% of which had developed gangrene from treatment of simple fractures by traditional bone setters. Fifty one point four percent of the amputations were in the upper limbs. The most common complications were anaemia (88.6%) and wound infection (68.6%). One patient had tetanus while one died from septicaemia. Only two patients had prosthetic fitting following amputation.


Most amputations in Nigerian children are due to traditional bone setters who manage simple, straight forward fractures in children causing gangrene of the limbs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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