Limb Length Discrepancy After Treatment of Pediatric Femoral Shaft Fractures With Traction at Kenyatta National Hospital.
This was a prospective study over a period of 12 months from December 2001 to November 2002. The study assessed the results of treatment of fractures of the femoral shaft with traction at the Kenyatta National Hospital. The principal investigator was Dr. Stephen Macharia ( Senior house officer : surgery) assisted by one research assistant. The study was supervised by Prof. J.E.O. Atinga (Associate Professor, department of orthopaedic Surgery University of Nairobi). Methodology: Paediatric patients with fracture shaft of femur were recruited in the study if their treatment was by traction. The demographic data, data on mechanism of injury, type of fracture, associated injuries and duration of treatment was obtained. The length of the affected limb was measured on completion of treatment and compared with the length of the normal limb to get the limb-length discrepancy. The average limb length discrepancy was determined for all patients and associated factors determined. Results: Fifty two (52) patients were entered into the study. Their ages ranged from 2 to 12 years with an average age of 5.9 years. The male to female ratio was 1.08:1. The average duration of traction was 29 days with a range of 17 to 40 days. The average limb-length discrepancy was -0.94cm. Conclusion: Treatment of fractures of the femur with Perkins traction at KNH is generally satisfactory with respect to limb-length discrepancy.
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