Conservative Management of Femoral Shaft Fractures in Adult Patients in The University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka

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Chilengwe, Welani
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This study was carried out over a period of 13 months. It is a prospective study on adult patients admitted to the general surgical wards at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, with fractures of the femur. The aim was to study the pattern of fractures in these patients, document the trend of management of these femoral fractures and to identify problems and complications associated with conservative management. Forty-six patients were included in the study. Three patients were lost to follow up and one mortality was recorded. Road traffic accidents were the most common cause of femoral shaft fractures. Most of these fractures were closed and non-comminuted. All the patients in the study were treated by conservative means using Perkins' traction and Perkins' exercises. The average hospital stay was 8.5 weeks which compares well with findings by other investigators. The complications were pin tract infection in 50% of the patients, limb shortening of more than 2cm in 42% of the patients and residual knee stiffness 32% of the patients.