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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57-60

Limb gangrene following treatment of limb injury by traditional bone setter (Tbs): a report of 15 consecutive cases

Department of Surgery, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O E Nwankwo
Department of Surgery, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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This study is done to evaluate cases of limb gangrene resulting from treatment of limb injury by traditional bonesetter.METHOD: This is a prospective study in which patients with limb gangrene are evaluated as each presents. Data extracted for evaluation include history of having been to a traditional bonesetter, the original injury, type of treatment given by the traditional healer, progression of condition while on treatment and reason for not coming to orthodox orthopaedic centre ab initio for treatment. RESULTS: 15 cases were seen during the 5-year of study spanning June 1997 to May 2002. Upper limbs were involved in 4 cases while 11 involved the lower limbs. The original injuries were 3 cases of soft tissue injury to the joints, 7 closed fractures and 5 open fractures of type I and II. There was associated sepsis and toxemia in all except one. All the cases were treated by amputation. There were 4 deaths. CONCLUSION: Limb gangrene was not a justifiable end-result of treatment in all the cases judging by the nature of the original injury. Reasons for this end result were adduced. The need to avert unnecessary limb loss from mismanagement of limb injury by education of public in general and enlightenment of the traditional bonesetters of the harmful procedures in their practice is highlighted.

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