According to estimates a quarter of all trauma patients in developing countries like India are initially managed by Traditional Bone Setters (TBS). Although many such patients have an uncomplicated recovery, many others have less than optimum outcomes. The objective of this study was to assess the outcomes in patients managed by TBS. The problems associated with such treatment include stiffness, malunion, myositis ossificans and the worst being Volkmannâ€™s ischemic contracture and extremity gangrene. This work was an observational study conducted in the Department of Orthopedics, Government Medical College, Srinagar between July 2014 and January 2016. All the patients who presented to our hospital after initially being managed by TBS were included in the study. A standardized set questionnaire was used for all patients. A total of 600 patients (M:F::384:216; mean age 27Â±20.5 years) were included in the study. 76.16% of the patients belonged to rural areas and 71.5% were uneducated. 253 of the patients had soft tissue injuries only while the rest had various fractures/dislocations. Accessibility was the most common reason (31%) for visiting the TBS. A total of 305 patients had 360 complications ranging from the relatively innocuous stiffness of joints to gangrene of the leg. Based on the results we recommend a supervised short certification course for the TBS. We also list the various reasons for patronage of TBS, which can form the basis for intervention in order to modify behavior.
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