Fact or Fiction: Is Orthopedic Follow-Up Worse for Patients Who Sustain Penetrating Trauma?

Chad Turner, Shane Hiatt, Brian Mullis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Commonly accepted dogma is that patients with a long bone fracture due to a penetrating injury (gunshot wound) are less likely to follow up than blunt trauma patients. An institutional trauma database from a Level 1 academic trauma center was utilized to include all patients with long bone fractures from penetrating trauma from 2006-2009 (N = 132). Demographically matched blunt trauma patients with long bone fractures were included as a comparison group (N = 104). The medical records of these 236 patients were reviewed to observe their follow-up at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. There was no statistically significant difference (P = 0.736) between the penetrating and blunt trauma patients in terms of their follow-up within 1 year from time of injury. At the 1 year end point 103/132 (78%) of the penetrating group and 83/104 (80%) of the blunt group were lost to follow-up. The results of this study call into question the routine exclusion of penetrating trauma patients from research studies, as well as encourage further research to improve patient retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E331-E334
JournalAmerican journal of orthopedics (Belle Mead, N.J.)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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