Epidemiology of orthopaedic fractures due to firearms

Dominick V. Congiusta, Jason Paul Oettinger, Aziz M. Merchant, Michael M. Vosbikian, Irfan H. Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The majority of firearm injuries involve the extremities and have concomitant orthopaedic injuries. National data on the epidemiology of wounds caused by firearms may better inform physicians and identify areas of public health intervention. We conducted an analysis of a national database to describe the epidemiology of orthopaedic firearm injuries in the United States. The Nationwide Inpatient Sample 2001–2013 database was queried for adult patients with fractures excluding those of the skull using injury billing codes. Characterization of injury was determined using External Cause of Injury billing codes. Sociodemographic and geographic variables were reported. Chi square and multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed to identify predictors of type of firearm implicated in injury. 334,212 firearm injuries were reported in the database and about half had concomitant orthopaedic fractures. Most patients were between the ages 19 and 29, were African American, and were male. The most frequent circumstance of injury was assault/homicide, the most common firearm used was a handgun, and the most common fracture site was the femur. Patients without insurance and patients of lower income were most commonly afflicted. Knowing this distribution of the burden of this class of injury provides the opportunity to identify and intervene on behalf of at-risk populations, potentially reducing injuries by promoting firearm safety to these groups and advocating sensible practices to reduce inequitable outcomes caused by these injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-49
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Trauma
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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