Lower extremity fractures in falls

P. Hadjizacharia, Bellal A Joseph, H. Aziz, V. Pandit, L. S. Chan, D. Demetriades, Peter M Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction Lower extremity fractures are very common in victims of falls. These fractures are usually associated with other bodily injuries and can lead to permanent disability if appropriate management is not provided. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence and outcomes of associated injuries in victims of falls with lower extremity fractures. Methods This is a retrospective review (1995–2006) of all fall-related trauma patients evaluated at our Level I trauma center. Injuries were categorized as: isolated femur fractures (FF), isolated tibia fractures (TF), and both femur and tibia fractures (FTF). Data were analyzed for differences in patterns of injury, associated fractures and injuries, and mortality and morbidity according to age groups within patients with minor body injuries expressed by Abbreviated Injury Score (AIS)<3. Results Three hundred and thirty-two patients (64.8%) had FF, 164 patients (32%) had TF, and 16 patients (3.2%) presented with FTF. The incidence of severe trauma was 9.4% (Injury Severity Score, ISS˃25). A higher incidence of ISS˃25 was observed in patients with FF. Increased mortality was observed in the elderly group, especially in patients with an isolated femur fracture. Conclusion Patients with a combination of femur and tibia fractures have a significantly higher risk of associated injuries compared to patients with either a femur or a tibia fracture. Elderly patients (≥65 years of age) have higher morbidity and mortality compared to younger patients after falls. Clinicians evaluating these patients should be aware of these injury patterns. Further studies assessing the impact of age and pattern of injury in patients following falls are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-336
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 26 2014


  • Extremity fractures
  • Falls
  • Injury severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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