Arterial injuries of the extremities following blunt trauma

James T. Sturm, Kenton C. Bodily, David A Rothenberger, John F. Perry

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42 Scopus citations


Thirty-three peripheral arterial injuries were observed in 29 patients following blunt trauma. Motor vehicle accidents were the most common initiating event. The mechanism of injury was fracture or dislocation in 21 patients, acute traction on the extremity in five patients, and contusion in three patients. Pulses were absent distal to the site of arterial injury in all patients. Complete arterial disruption was documented in 19 arteries; intimal or intimal and medial tears were observed in 10 arteries. Four arteries were not surgically explored. If possible, debridement and primary anastomosis was the preferred method of revascularization. Saphenous vein interposition grafts were the second choice. Five amputations, four major and one minor, were required. Although patent vascular reconstructions may be uniformly achieved, long-term functional results are frequently affected by the duration of limb ischemia before revascularization, and concomitant injuries to bone, nerve, and soft tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-936
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1980


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