The distribution of hand fractures at the university hospital of north Norway
BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to describe the fracture pattern for hand fractures in the Arctic region of Norway. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using the hospital's radiological information system and picture archiving and communication system all traumatic hand fractures in the year of 2010 were registered. Fractures in the carpal, metacarpal, and phalangeal bones were included in the study. RESULTS: A total of 593 patients with 691 fractures including 80 carpal, 200 metacarpal, and 411 phalangeal fractures were registered. The most commonly affected bone was the 5th metacarpal bone with a total of 99 fractures (14%), 22 of these (22%) were classified as subcapital or "boxer's fracture". Among male patients, the highest frequency of fractures was seen in the age group 10-60 years with a peak between 10-24 years. Adult female patients had most fractures in the age group 50-70 years. Generally, there were no seasonal variations, although a marked decrease of fractures could be seen in December. Triquetral fractures were more common during the winter season. Falling was the most common trauma mechanism. CONCLUSION: With a few exceptions, hand fractures were not related to particular seasons or weekdays in this material. The distribution of hand fractures was related to age and gender, and some trauma mechanisms were dominating.