Journal of orthopaedic surgery and research 2018 01 0513(1) 2 doi 10.1186/s13018-017-0706-9
Degloving injuries are surgical conditions in which an extensive portion of skin and subcutaneous tissue is detached from the underlying fasciae, muscles, or bone surface. Frequently, there is an association of fracture underlying the degloved area. We aimed to compare the short-term outcomes of degloving injuries with and without underlying fracture.
A prospective cohort study was conducted. We recruited patients with degloving injuries, and followed them up for 30 days to assess the outcomes. We collected data on socio-demography, cause and mechanism of injury, presence of underlying fracture, presence of shock at admission, injury severity score, location and size of degloving injuries, their management, and short-term outcomes. There were two comparison groups of degloving injuries based on the presence or absence of underlying fracture. We analyzed the differences between the two groups by using Fisher exact test for categorical variables and Student’s t test for continuous variables; p values < 0.05 were considered to be significant. Risk ratio was calculated for the short-term outcomes. RESULTS
There were 1.56% (n = 51) of degloving injuries among 3279 admitted trauma patients during the study period of 5 months; 1% (n = 33) with and 0.56% (n = 18) without underlying fracture. For the overall degloving injuries, male-female ratio was 2 and mean age was 28.8 years; they were caused by road traffic crashes in 84%, and resulted in shock at admission in 29%. In the group with underlying fracture, lower limbs were frequently affected in 45% (p = 0.0018); serial debridement and excision of the avulsed flap were the most performed surgical procedures in 22% (p = 0.0373) and 14% (p = 0.0425), respectively; this same group had 3.9 times increased risk of developing poor outcomes (mainly infections) after 30 days and longer hospital stay (26.52 ± 31.31 days, p = 0.0472).
Degloving injuries with underlying fracture are frequent in the lower limbs, and have increased risk of poor short-term outcomes and longer hospital stay. We recommend an early plastic surgery review at admission of patients with degloving injuries with underlying fracture to improve the flap viability and reduce the infection risk.