Gunshot injuries to the lower extremities: Issues, controversies and algorithm of management.

Maqungo, Sithombo; Kauta, Ntambue; Held, Michael; Mazibuko, Tamsanqa; Keel, Marius JB; Laubscher, Maritz; Ahmad, Sufian S (2020). Gunshot injuries to the lower extremities: Issues, controversies and algorithm of management. Injury - international journal of the care of the injured, 51(7), pp. 1426-1431. Elsevier 10.1016/j.injury.2020.05.024

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Civilian gunshot violence is common and concentrated in specific geographic regions of the world, consuming a significant proportion of trauma practice in those particular regions. Unfortunately, the state of clinical evidence is scarce, and it is fair to emphasize that the field is scientifically under-represented. In the current review, the authors point out key aspects and principles requiring attention when treating low energy gunshot wounds to the lower extremity. These treatment principles include the following management concepts: 1) Conservative management of soft tissue injuries if the projectile causes no discomfort. 2) Conservative management of non-complete fractures of the tibia or femoral shaft. 3) Prophylactic fixation of non-complete peri-trochanteric fractures. 4) Fixation of allcomplete fractures. 5) Removal of all intra-articular projectiles. 6) Treating as septic arthritis if the missile passes through large bowel (not small bowel) prior to penetrating a joint capsule. The proposed concepts are based on available evidence from the literature and expert opinion. The authors also highlight challenges with conducting clinical studies in the field, given the high rate of 'loss to follow-up' and compliance issues in this particular group of patients.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Keel, Marius, Ahmad, Sufian


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Kathrin Aeschlimann

Date Deposited:

28 Dec 2020 19:10

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:42

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Ballistic Gunshot injury Gunshot wound Intramedullary nailing Tibial fracture




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