Hip fracture pattern at a major Tanzanian referral hospital: focus on fragility hip fractures

Munyaradzi Tsabasvi, Sonya Davey, Rogers Temu
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This study examined hip fractures during a 5-year period at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC). There was a general increase in proportions of fragility hip fractures during this period.


Fragility hip fractures are expected to increase in low-resource countries. This study examined hip fractures in the osteoporotic age group during a 5-year period at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC), which is located in Moshi, Tanzania.


We conducted a retrospective study of all hip fracture patients above the age of 50 who were admitted to KCMC between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2015. Objective measures including patient demographics, mechanism of injury, and X-ray evaluation were used to differentiate high- and low-energy fractures. Low-energy hip fractures with no other suspected pathological processes on X-ray were labelled as fragility fractures.


Three hundred forty patients were admitted in the study period and 222 patients met the inclusion criteria. Males contributed to 59.5% of hip fractures. Falls from standing height constituted the majority of fractures (76%) followed by injury from road traffic crashes (14%). Regardless of high- or low-energy aetiology, intertrochanteric fracture dominated representing 54.5% of all hip fractures. 75.6% (n = 168) of the analysed patients had fragility fractures. The fragility fractures were 55.8% (n = 96) intertrochanteric, 28.5% (n = 49) cervical, 9.9% (n = 17) subtrochanteric, and 5.8% (n = 10) mixed subtrochanteric with intertrochanteric. We noted a 2.34% per year increase in the proportions of fragility fractures among all included hip fractures over 5 years.


We concluded that men and women contributed almost equally to the fragility hip fracture burden. The dominant cause of hip fractures overall was low-energy injuries. There was an increase in proportions of fragility hip fractures in the period of January 2011 to December 2015.