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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 656-660

Reliability of the mangled extremity severity score in combat-related upper and lower extremity injuries


1 Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey
2 Department of General Surgery, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey
3 Department of Infectious Diseases, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Tolga Ege
Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara
Turkey
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.168759

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Background: Decision of limb salvage or amputation is generally aided with several trauma scoring systems such as the mangled extremity severity score (MESS). However, the reliability of the injury scores in the settling of open fractures due to explosives and missiles is challenging. Mortality and morbidity of the extremity trauma due to firearms are generally associated with time delay in revascularization, injury mechanism, anatomy of the injured site, associated injuries, age and the environmental circumstance. The purpose of the retrospective study was to evaluate the extent of extremity injuries due to ballistic missiles and to detect the reliability of mangled extremity severity score (MESS) in both upper and lower extremities. Materials and Methods: Between 2004 and 2014, 139 Gustillo Anderson Type III open fractures of both the upper and lower extremities were enrolled in the study. Data for patient age, fire arm type, transporting time from the field to the hospital (and the method), injury severity scores, MESS scores, fracture types, amputation levels, bone fixation methods and postoperative infections and complications retrieved from the two level-2 trauma center's data base. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of the MESS were calculated to detect the ability in deciding amputation in the mangled limb. Results: Amputation was performed in 39 extremities and limb salvage attempted in 100 extremities. The mean followup time was 14.6 months (range 6–32 months). In the amputated group, the mean MESS scores for upper and lower extremity were 8.8 (range 6–11) and 9.24 (range 6–11), respectively. In the limb salvage group, the mean MESS scores for upper and lower extremities were 5.29 (range 4–7) and 5.19 (range 3–8), respectively. Sensitivity of MESS in upper and lower extremities were calculated as 80% and 79.4% and positive predictive values detected as 55.55% and 83.3%, respectively. Specificity of MESS score for upper and lower extremities was 84% and 86.6%; negative predictive values were calculated as 95.45% and 90.2%, respectively. Conclusion: MESS is not predictive in combat related extremity injuries especially if between a score of 6–8. Limb ischemia and presence or absence of shock can be used in initial decision-making for amputation.


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