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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-25

Traumatic abdominal wall hernia secondary to motorcycle handle bar injury

1 Department of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2 Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

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R S Jamabo
89 Victoria Street, PMB 6185, Port Harcourt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background : Until recently, motorcycles became major means of transportation in Nigerian cities because they are cheaper than cars and buses to engage. Unfortunately they are responsible for several road traffic accidents causing various types of injuries including blunt abdominal injuries. Although they have long been withdrawn from the roads in most cities in Nigeria, they are a menace in the cities where they are still operating. Aim: To report 13 cases of traumatic abdominal wall hernia as a result of blunt abdominal injuries secondary to motorcycle accidents, their management and the outcome of their management. Patients and Methods: As recorded in the Accident and Emergency departments of two tertiary hospitals in Port Harcourt - University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, 2472 patients who had blunt abdominal trauma following motorcycle accidents were seen and treated between 2005 and 2010. Out of this number, 13 patients were admitted and treated for suspected traumatic abdominal wall hernia. Their demographic data, treatment and treatment outcome were retrieved from their case notes. Results: There were 13 cases of suspected traumatic abdominal wall hernia, who were admitted for emergency exploration. There were 10 (76.9%) males and 3 (23.1%) females with a male/female ratio of 3.3:1. The patients aged between 26 and 56 years. The mean age at diagnosis was 40.6 years. The presenting symptoms were related to the road traffic accident and the impact of the handles of the motorcycle on the anterior abdominal wall. They are abdominal pain, severe bruising of the abdominal wall, herniation of abdominal contents and scrotal haematoma. Eleven (84.6%) cases were diagnosed correctly pre- operatively while 2 (15.4%) cases were diagnosed during surgery. Conclusion: We recommend a high level of clinical suspicion for traumatic abdominal wall herniation in all patients with traumatic abdominal wall injuries. It is instructive that the area be explored with primary repair of the hernia and other tissue planes of the abdominal wall.

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