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Injury. 2009 Nov;40(11):1212-9. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2009.06.003. Epub 2009 Jul 5.

Incidence of traumatic long-bone fractures requiring in-hospital management: a prospective age- and gender-specific analysis of 4890 fractures.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway.



Musculoskeletal trauma represents a considerable global health burden; however, reliable population-based incidence data are lacking. Thus, we prospectively investigated the age- and sex-specific incidence patterns of long-bone fractures in a defined population.


A 4-year prospective study of all long-bone fractures in a defined Norwegian population was carried out. The demographic data, as well as data on fracture type and location and mode of treatment were collected using recognised classification (e.g., AO/OTA - Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen/Orthopaedic Trauma Association; Gustilo-Anderson (GA) for open fractures). Age- and sex-adjusted incidences were calculated using population statistics.


During the study period, 4890 long-bone fractures were recorded. The overall incidence per 100,000 per year was 406 with a 95% confidence interval (95%CI) of 395-417. The age-adjusted incidence for those <16 years (339; 95%CI: 318-360) was lower than that for those >or=16 years (427; 95%CI: 414-440). The overall male incidence (337; 95%CI: 322-355) was lower than the female (476; 95%CI: 459-493), but the male:female ratio was 2:1 among those <50 years, and 1:3 in those >or=50 years. The upper limb fractures had an overall incidence of 159 (95%CI: 152-166), whereas the lower limb fracture incidence was 247 (95%CI: 238-256). Open fractures occurred in 3%, with an incidence of 13 (95%CI: 11-15). Paediatric fractures were more likely to be treated conservatively with only 8% requiring internal fixation, compared to 56% internal fixation in those >or=16 years of age. An increase in the use of angular stable plates occurred during the study period.


This prospectively collected study of long-bone fractures in a defined population recognises age- and gender-specific fracture patterns. Boys predominate in the younger age group for which treatment is basically conservative. In the senior population, women and operative treatment predominate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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