Objective: The purpose of this study is to evaluate peripheral nerve war injuries sustained during the war in southern Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Patients and Methods: During the war in Croatia, 713 patients (99% male and 1% female) with wounds inflicted by fireams were examined at the Laboratory of Neurophysiology, University Hospital, Split. The patients, soldiers and civilians alike, ranged in age from 6 to 73 years (average, 28 years). All patients with firearm nerve war injuries underwent detection by electromyography and plurisegmental examination of the damaged peripheral nerve (neurography). The patients were examined and controlled on three occasions: within 2 months after wounding; up to 6 months after wounding; and more than 6 months after wounding. Results: Single peripheral nerve lesions were present in 80% of the patients, and multiple peripheral nerve or plexus lesions were present in 20% of the patients. Peroneal and ulnar nerves were most often involved (20.9% and 19.8%, respectively). Associated massive injuries to the muscles, large blood vessels, or vital organs were present in 45% of the patients. Wounds were inflicted by shell fragments in 80% of the patients and by projectiles in 20% of the patients. Conclusion: According to our results, better recovery was achieved with conservative treatment and when physical therapy was initiated early with maximal patient cooperation. Electromyoneurographic findings were the most valid in the prognostic classification of war-inflicted peripheral nerve injuries.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health