Author(s): Laird A, Keating JF
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Abstract We prospectively analysed the epidemiology of acetabular fractures over a period of 16 years in order to identify changes in their incidence or other demographic features. Our study cohort comprised a consecutive series of 351 patients with acetabular fractures admitted to a single institution between January 1988 and December 2003. There was no significant change in the overall incidence of acetabular fractures, which remained at 3 patients/100 000/year. There was, however, a significant reduction in the number of men sustaining an acetabular fracture over the period (p < 0.02). The number of fractures resulting from falls from a height < 10 feet showed a significant increase (p < 0.002), but there was no change in those caused by motor-vehicle accidents. There was a significant reduction in the median Injury Severity score over the period which was associated with a significant decrease in mortality (p < 0.04) and a reduction in the length of hospital stay. The incidence of osteoarthritis noted during follow-up of operatively-treated fractures declined from 31\% to 14\%, reflecting improved results with increasing subspecialisation. Our findings suggest that there will be a continuing need for some orthopaedic surgeons to specialise in the management of these fractures. In addition, the reductions in the Injury Severity score and mortality may be associated with improved road and vehicle safety.
This article was published in J Bone Joint Surg Br
and referenced in Journal of Trauma & Treatment