Background: Despite the vast number of traumatic injuries that are orthopaedic in nature, comprehensive epidemiological data that characterise orthopaedic trauma are limited. The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of orthopaedic trauma admitted to adult Level 1 Trauma Centres.
Methods: Data were obtained from the Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry (VOTOR), which includes all patients with orthopaedic trauma admitted to the two adult Level 1 Trauma Centres in Victoria (Australia). Information was collected from the medical record and hospital databases on patients' demographics and injury event, diagnoses and management.
Results: Data were analysed on 784 patients recruited between August 2003 and March 2004. Patients were mainly young (<65 years) (70.7%), male (59.1%) and injured in a transport collision (51.3%). Fractures of the femur (23.7%) and spine (23.5%) were the most common injuries and were predominately managed with operative (87.6%) and conservative (78.8%) methods, respectively. Differences in most parameters were evident between younger (<65 years) and older (> or =65 years) patients.
Conclusions: This study presents epidemiological data on patients with orthopaedic trauma who were admitted to adult Level 1 Trauma Centres. This information is critical for the future monitoring and evaluation of the outcomes of orthopaedic trauma.