JOURNAL ARTICLE

Epidemiology of acute wrist trauma

C F Larsen, J Lauritsen
International Journal of Epidemiology 1993, 22 (5): 911-6
8282472
Epidemiological data on wrist injuries in a population can be used for planning by applying them to criteria for care and thus deriving estimates of provisions for care according to currently desirable standards. In a 1-year study all patients > or = 15 years with acute wrist trauma and treated in the emergency room were examined according to an algorithm until a diagnosis was established. The overall incidence of wrist trauma was 69 per 10,000 inhabitants per year. Incidence of wrist trauma requiring x-ray examination was 58 per 10,000 per year. The incidence of distal radius fractures was 27 per 10,000 per year (males, 16 per 10,000, females, 37 per 10,000 per year). In order to evaluate the completeness (defined as the proportion of patients with wrist injuries seen in the emergency room to all patients with wrist injuries in the catchment area) of the hospital-based data an analysis was performed using data from a population-based study. A completeness rate of 0.56 (95% confidence interval: 0.31-0.78) was found. An x-ray had been taken for all patients reporting a fracture thus justifying the use of fractures as an incidence measure when comparing groups of patients with wrist trauma.

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