Characterization of musculoskeletal injuries in children seen at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka

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Nyimbili, James
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The University of Zambia
Musculoskeletal injuries are extremely common in children and may strain health delivery services. Recognition of the extent and nature of the problem is cardinal in formulation of preventive strategies and ensuring good treatment outcome. This prospective hospital-based cross-sectional study aimed to capture various features of orthopaedic injuries in children. It was conducted at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) over a period of four months (December 2018-April, 2019). Children aged seventeen years and below, presenting to UTH with a musculoskeletal injury following trauma were recruited via convenience sampling. Information regarding demographics, aetiology/ mechanism of injury, fracture classification, complications, suitable treatment modalities and availability at UTH was noted on recruitment. Data for 242 participants was analysed. Results of the study indicated that the peak incidence of orthopaedic injuries was in the 5-10 years group. Male: female ratio was 3:1 and most injuries occurred in the home environment during play/sport. Complete fracture pattern was predominant and had direct relation with low socioeconomic status (p value 0.002). We therefore concluded that orthopaedic injuries in children seen at UTH are mostly complete fractures involving boys and that low socioeconomic background is an associated risk factor. Fracture complications are rare at presentation and surgery for definitive management of fractures is not readily available due to equipment challenges. Keywords: Musculoskeletal injury, child, mechanism of injury, fracture classification, fall, site of injury
Musculoskeletal injury--Children , Fracture classification