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High Velocity Gunshot Fractures of Humerus: Results of Primary Plate Osteosynthesis

High Velocity Gunshot Fractures of Humerus: Results of Primary Plate Osteosynthesis

Indian Journal of Orthopaedics 55(3): 714-722

ISSN/ISBN: 0019-5413

PMID: 33995878

DOI: 10.1007/s43465-020-00299-w

High velocity gunshot fractures usually seen in conflict zones, often mandate external fixation due to delayed presentation and associated contamination. In the presented observational study, we managed high velocity gunshot fractures of humerus with adequate debridement and primary plate osteosynthesis under controlled conditions with gratifying results. Eighteen consecutive cases of fracture of the humerus secondary to high velocity gunshot wounds with ages ranging from 28 to 45 years reporting within 6 h of the initial injury formed our study group. Immediate debridement, lavage and primary plate osteosynthesis was carried out following hemodynamic stabilisation and intravenous antibiotics. All the cases were followed up at 2, 4, 6 months, 1 year and then annual follow-up including telephonic follow-up for six patients. Fifteen cases of Gustillo Anderson type III A, two of type III B and one of type III C were managed with primary plate osteosynthesis. Brachial artery injury was addressed immediately, however injured radial nerve ends were tagged. Five cases showed delayed/non-union and were managed with decortication and autologous bone grafting. Two cases of deep infection could be managed with implant retention till union. The implants were removed following fracture consolidation. All the fractures united and no patient was left with sequelae of chronic infection. Timely presentation of high velocity gunshot fractures of humerus teamed up with adequate debridement, soft tissue management and primary plate osteosynthesis can offer satisfactory outcomes. Associated vascular injury needs immediate attention. Nerve injuries can be addressed in a staged procedure. Our results have been satisfactory and add to the scant literature available on the subject, however further studies are warranted.

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Accession: 071873227

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