BACKGROUND: Distal radius fractures (DRFs) constitute 15-21% of all fractures . There are no detailed data on the possible changes in the epidemiology and treatment of DRFs in children and adults during the Covid pandemic . The purpose of our study was a comprehensive assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on distal radius fractures (DRF) epidemiology, including both children and adults and various fracture fixation methods in two large trauma centers in Poland .
METHODS: This study compared the medical data on the treatment of distal radius fractures in Poland in two periods: the period of the COVID-19 pandemic (from March 15 to October 15 , 2020) and the corresponding period prior to the pandemic (from March 15 to October 15 , 2019). We assessed detailed data from two trauma centers for pediatric and adult patients . Outpatients seeking medical attention at emergency departments and inpatients undergoing surgery at trauma-orthopedic wards were evaluated . We compared epidemiological data, demographic data, treatment type, and hospital stay duration .
RESULTS: The total number of patients hospitalized due to DRF during the pandemic was 180, it was 15.1% lower than that from the pre-COVID-19 pandemic period (212). In the case of adult patients, the total number of those hospitalized during the pandemic decreased significantly (by 22 %) from 132 to 103 patients . Analysis of the individual treatment methods revealed that the number of adults who underwent conservative treatment was considerably (by 30.3 %) significantly lower in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, from 119 to 83 patients . Compared to 13 patients from the pre-pandemic period, the number of surgically treated adults statistically increased to 20 patients (by 53.8 %). Our analyses showed hospitalizations of surgically treated adults to be shorter by 12.7% during the pandemic, with the corresponding hospitalizations of surgically treated pediatric patients to be shorter by11.5% .
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed a significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the epidemiology and treatment of DRFs in children and adults. We found decreased numbers of pediatric and adult patients with DRFs during the COVID-19 pandemic . The pandemic caused an increase in the number of children and significantly increase adults undergoing surgical treatment for DRFs, a decrease in mean patient age, shorter significantly length of hospital stay, and an increased number of men with DRFs.
Index: Covid-19, Distal radius, Epidemiology, Fracture, Lock-down, Pandemic, Sars-cov-2