How did restrictions mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic affect the performance of orthopedic trauma surgery in a Level-1 tertiary trauma hospital?

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2021 Sep;27(5):547-551. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2021.15640.

Abstract

Background: This present study was designed to evaluate the effect of restrictions on fracture admission to a Level-1 tertiary trauma hospital between COVID-19 pandemic and pre-pandemic restriction time intervals that included groups of younger than <20-years-old, 20-65-years-old, and older than aged >65-years-old.

Methods: Patients who were hospitalized and treated for orthopedic treatment between 10 March and 1 June during the pandemic period were retrospectively analyzed. Control group consisted of patients admitted to the hospital in the same time interval in 2019. The patients were divided into three groups, under 20 years of age, between 20 and 65 years of age, and over 65 years of age. The patients' data included age, gender, trauma mechanism, fracture type, and any COVID-19 radiological or clinical symptoms.

Results: The number of patients >65-years-old admitted to the orthopedic trauma center was high at pandemic intervals compared to pre-pandemic time. When the groups were compared for patients of 20-65-years-old; there was a significant difference for the fracture type (p<0.05). Lower extremity fractures were high at pre-pandemic group, whereas multiple traumas were high at pandemic group. For sub-group 20-65 ages, low-energy traumas were higher at pre-pandemic group, whereas high-energy traumas were more frequent at the pandemic group.

Conclusion: We observed a decrease in fracture admission to orthopedic trauma centers during COVID-19 pandemic for subgroups of <20-years-old and 20-65-years-old ages, whereas there was a significant increase for >65-years-old age, most of them related to the osteoporotic hip fractures. So that older age group should be encouraged to mobilize at home and have permission to walk and make physical activity to avoid osteoporosis for a limited time daily.