Deakin University

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Lower limb fracture presentations at a regional hospital

Summary: We found that lower limb fractures, which were largely the result of minimal trauma, had high levels of hospitalisation, length of stay and surgery. It is therefore important to prevent fractures at all sites to avoid the associated morbidity and mortality. Purpose: Hip fractures are a major cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly in older women. In comparison, less is known about the epidemiology and burden of other lower limb fractures. The study aimed to investigate the epidemiology and burden of these fractures. Methods: Incident fractures of the hip, femur, tibia/fibula, ankle and foot in women (≥ 20 years) managed through the University Hospital Geelong, Australia, were ascertained from 1 Jan. 2014 to 31 Dec. 2014 from radiology reports. Age, cause of fracture, post-fracture hospitalisation, surgery, length of stay and discharge location were ascertained from medical records. Results: We identified 585 fractures of the lower limb (209 hip, 42 femur, 41 tibia/fibula, 162 ankle, 131 foot). Most fractures were sustained by women aged ≥ 50 years. Fractures were largely a result of minimal trauma. Most women with hip or femur fractures were hospitalised; fewer were hospitalised for fractures at other sites. Surgery for fracture followed the same pattern as hospitalisations. Length of stay was the highest for hip and femur fractures and the lowest for foot fractures. Women with hip or femur fractures were discharged to rehabilitation more often than home. Fractures at other sites were most commonly discharged home. Conclusions: Fractures of the lower limb occurred frequently in older women. Hospitalisation and subsequent surgery were common in cases of hip and femur fractures. It is important for prevention strategies to target fractures at a range of skeletal sites to reduce costs, hospitalisations, loss of independence and reduced quality of life.



Archives of Osteoporosis









Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation