There is little information available about the epidemiology of open fractures. We examined 2386 open fractures over a 15-year period analysing the incidence and severity of the fractures. The majority of open fractures are low energy injuries with only 22.3% of open fractures being caused by road traffic accidents or falls from a height. The distribution curves of many open fractures are different to the overall fracture distribution curves with high-energy open fractures being commoner in younger males and low energy open fractures in older females. The mode of injury and the different demographic characteristics between isolated and multiple open fractures are also discussed.
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