Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica
Research Articles

Effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the fracture demographics: Data from a tertiary care hospital in Turkey


Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Tepecik Training and Research Hospital, İzmir, Turkey

AOTT 2020; 54: 355-363
DOI: 10.5152/j.aott.2020.20209
Read: 962 Downloads: 293 Published: 12 August 2020

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the types and the frequency of fractures, both in the pediatric and adult population during the COVID-19 pandemic and to find out the differences in comparison to the non-pandemic period.

Methods: Patients who were admitted to the hospital with a new fracture during pandemic period (March 16 to May 22, 2020) were evaluated. Control group consisted of patients with new fractures admitted to the hospital in the same date range in 2018 and 2019. The patients were divided into two groups as ≤16 years old (group 1) and >16 years old (group 2). The evaluation was based on the age and gender of the patients and localization of the fractures. Hospitalized and surgically treated patients were evaluated as well.

Results: A total of 1794, 1747, and 670 fractures were observed in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively. Mean age of the patients in group 1 was found to have decreased in the pandemic period (p<0.001). The most common fracture sites in the pediatric population were the distal forearm and distal arm, whereas hand, distal forearm, and foot were most common fracture sites in adults, in both pandemic and non-pandemic periods. The proportional increase in femoral and tibial shaft fractures in group 1, and toe, tibial shaft, and metacarpal fractures in group 2 was found to be statistically significantly (p<0.05). In group 1; 6.8%, 7.7%, and 14.6% of the fractures were treated surgically in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively (p<0.001). For group 2, these rates were 20.1%, 18.6%, and 18.1%, respectively (p=0.67). There were 48, 29, and 26 open fractures in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively (p=0.066). In pandemic period, duration of the hospital stay was significantly shorter for distal humerus and proximal femur fractures (p values= 0.001 and 0.017, respectively).

Conclusion: We observed that the frequency of fractures decreased by approximately one-third during the pandemic period compared with that in the non-pandemic period. The mean age of the patients with a fracture in the pediatric group was found to have decreased also. Finger fractures in pediatric patients and metatarsal fractures in adult patients were found to have significantly decreased during the pandemic.

Level of Evidence: Level III, Diagnostic study

Cite this article as: Turgut A, Arlı H, Altundağ Ü, Hancıoğlu S, Egeli E, Kalenderer Ö. Effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the fracture demographics: Data from a tertiary care hospital in Turkey. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc 2020; 54(4): 355-63.

ISSN1017-995X EISSN 2589-1294