Orthopedic treatment, complications, and cost analysis of 67 soldiers injured in a three-month period

Jt Dis Relat Surg. 2020;31(1):102-8. doi: 10.5606/ehc.2020.71808.


Objectives: This study aims to analyze the musculoskeletal injury types, injury mechanisms, treatment modalities, complications, and costs of 67 consecutive soldiers wounded in the battlefield in Syria civil war over a period of three months.

Patients and methods: This retrospective study was conducted between January 2018 and March 2018 at Kilis State Hospital. The study included 67 male patients (median age 28.5 years; range, 15 to 46 years). Patients' ages, injury mechanisms, fracture types, fracture locations, injury severity scores, mangled extremity severity scores, complications, and treatment costs were evaluated.

Results: Twenty-three patients were injured due to handmade explosives, 21 patients due to gunshots, 16 patients due to landmines, five patients due to rockets, and two patients due to grenades. A total of 35.8% of the patients (n=24) had concomitant trauma. The mean hospitalization period was 10.2 days (range, 1-45 days). A total of 88 treatments were performed on these patients. Thirty-six of these treatments were external fixators, 21 were amputations, 12 were open reduction internal fixations, seven were closed reduction internal fixations, five were intramedullary nailings, three were cannulated screws, three were fasciotomies, and one was an arthrodesis. The treatment costs ranged from 1,577 to 296,286 Turkish Liras. Complications were observed in 17 patients and 11 of them developed infections, three of them had compartment syndrome, and three died during the hospitalization period.

Conclusion: The increase in warfare technology is correlated with the severity of military injuries in the battlefields. These injuries still lead to high traumatic amputation rates, high-risk complications, and high costs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Armed Conflicts
  • Blast Injuries / epidemiology
  • Bone Screws
  • External Fixators
  • Extremities / injuries*
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Syria / epidemiology
  • Wounds, Gunshot / epidemiology
  • Young Adult