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Journal Article


Gumina S, Proietti R, Polizzotti G, Carbone S, Candela V. J. Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2020, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, Publisher Elsevier Publishing)




32713663 PMCID


BACKGROUND: Because of the rapid spread of COVID-19, on March 8, 2020 Italy became a "protected area": people were told not to leave their homes unless it was essential. The aim of this study was to evaluate the activity of our trauma center, relative to shoulder and elbow, in the 30 days starting from March 8, 2020, the first day of restrictions in Italy, and to compare it with the same days of 2019 to weigh the impact of COVID-19 on shoulder and elbow trauma.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients managed in our trauma center between March 8, 2020, and April 8, 2020 (COVID period), for shoulder and elbow trauma were retrospectively included and compared to patients admitted in the same period of 2019 (no-COVID period). Clinical records of all participants were examined to obtain information regarding age, sex, mechanism of injury, and diagnosis.

RESULTS: During the no-COVID period, 133 patients were admitted for a shoulder or elbow trauma; in the COVID period, there were 47 patients (65% less first aid). In the no-COVID and COVID period, patients with shoulder contusion totaled 60 (14.78% of all; male [M]: 34; female [F]: 26; mean age 51.8 years, range 18-88) and 11 (12.09% of all contusions; M: 7, F: 4; mean age 43 years, range 24-60), respectively. In the no-COVID period, 27 fractures (9.34% of all fractures) involved the shoulder, whereas 18 fractures (8.69%) were registered in the COVID period. In the no-COVID period, 14 elbow fractures were treated (4.8% of all fractures), compared with 4 in the COVID period. In the no-COVID and COVID periods, 6 patients (M: 5, F: 1; mean age 42 years, range 21-64) and 2 patients (M: 1, F: 1; mean age 29.5 years, range 24-35) reported having a feeling of momentary post-traumatic shoulder instability, and 0 and 1 patients (M: 1, F: 0; age 56 years), respectively, reported similar symptoms at the elbow. Finally, first or recurrent dislocations in the no-COVID period were 10, and in the COVID period, 7; elbow dislocations in the no-COVID period were 2, and in the COVID period, there were 3.

CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID period, we provided a reduced number of health services, especially for patients with low-energy trauma and for those who underwent sports and traffic accidents. However, during the COVID period, elderly subjects remain exposed to shoulder and elbow trauma due to low-energy (domestic) falls. The subsequent hospitalization of these patients has contributed to making it more difficult to manage the hospital wards that are partly occupied by COVID-19 patients.

Language: en


COVID-19 and shoulder trauma; COVID-19 and traumatology; COVID-19 shoulder impact; proximal humerus fractures; radial head fractures; shoulder and elbow trauma


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