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Crush extremity fractures associated with the 2008 Sichuan earthquake: anatomic sites, numbers and statuses evaluated with digital radiography and multidetector computed tomography



To investigate features of crush extremity fractures associated with massive earthquake on digital radiography (DR) and multidetector computed tomography (MDCT).

Materials and methods

Six hundred and twenty-three consecutive patients with clinically confirmed crush extremity fractures arising from the 2008 Sichuan earthquake were enrolled into our study. Six hundred and eleven patients with suggested extremity fractures underwent DR, and 12 patients with possible knee fractures underwent MDCT. Image data were retrospectively reviewed, with the focus on anatomic sites, numbers, and status of the fractures.


Extremity fractures occurred in lower extremities in 428 patients, upper extremities in 151, and both lower and upper extremities in 44. Lower extremity fractures were more common than upper extremity fractures (P < 0.05), and the commonly involved bones were the tibia and fibula in 141 patients, femur in 102, tibia in 52, and fibula in 40. According to the numbers of bones involved, multiple bone fractures occurred in 336 patients and included lower extremity fractures in 231, upper extremity fractures in 61, and both lower and upper fractures in 44. Multiple fractures in lower extremities were seen more often than in upper extremities (P < 0.05). As for status of the extremity fractures, comminuted fractures occurred in 324 patients and included lower extremity fractures in 248, upper extremity fractures in 51, and both lower and upper extremity fractures in 25. Comminuted fractures were more common in lower extremities than in upper extremities (P < 0.05).


Multiple and comminuted fractures, predominantly in the lower extremities, could be considered as features of crush extremity fractures associated with the massive Sichuan earthquake.

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Correspondence to Zhi-gang Yang.

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Chen, Tw., Yang, Zg., Wang, Ql. et al. Crush extremity fractures associated with the 2008 Sichuan earthquake: anatomic sites, numbers and statuses evaluated with digital radiography and multidetector computed tomography. Skeletal Radiol 38, 1089–1097 (2009).

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  • Extremity fractures
  • Digital radiography
  • Multidetector computed tomography
  • Earthquake