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Management of low velocity gunshot-induced fractures

Management of low velocity gunshot-induced fractures

Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 4(1): 39-41

ISSN/ISBN: 0890-5339

PMID: 2313428

DOI: 10.1097/00005131-199003000-00007

Bullets fired from civilian weapons are usually of low velocity, resulting in minimal tissue cavitation as compared to high-velocity weapons. A prospective protocol was initiated for patients sustaining a low-velocity gunshot to the extremity resulting in a stable, nonoperative fracture configuration. Treatment consisted of local irrigation and débridement, tetanus prophylaxis as required, a long acting cephalosporin intramuscularly, and splinting or casting of the fractured extremity. Twenty-five patients were managed by this protocol. This patient population was compared to a random retrospective sample of 25 patients with similar ballistic induced fractures and wounds managed by local débridement and 48 h of intravenous antibiotics. One infection occurred in each group, requiring further therapy. We conclude that the patient with a low-velocity gunshot induced fracture can be managed without the use of short-term intravenous antibiotics with no increased risk of infection.

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Accession: 040634669

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