Hirudotherapy in Orthopedics and Traumatology: Experiences from 21 cases
Gurbuz K1, Ekinci Y1, Doğar F2
1Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Kayseri City Training & Research Hospital, Kayseri, Turkiye
22Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Sutcu Imam University Hospital,
*Corresponding Author: Kaan Gurbuz, Department of Orthopedics and
Traumatology, Kayseri City Education and Training Hospital, Turkiye.
November 21, 2022; Published: December 07, 2022
Introduction: Hirudotherapy is an important integrative medicine application used with different indications and on a daily basis since ancient times. Herein aimed to present the clinical results of hirudotherapy in orthopedic trauma cases.
Patients and Methods: Twenty-one patients treated for extremity crush injuries accompanied by tissue loss between December 2017 and December 2020 and treated with surgery combined with hirudotherapy were included in this prospective study. The number of leeches used, demographic, clinical, and microbiological details were retrospectively analyzed to compare the postoperative clinical and functional results of the hirudotherapy.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 39.2 and the female to male ratio was 4:17. All patients underwent an average of 1.3 sessions of hirudotherapy per day. An average of 1 leech/9 cm2 was applied. Each session lasted an average of 21 minutes. Complications of hirudotherapy (infection, wound site and/or general allergy, etc.) were not encountered in any patient. Leech phobia was not observed in any of the patients before the application and did not develop after the application during the clinical follow-up.
Conclusion: The use of hirudotherapy for crush injuries shortens the patient's stay in the hospital, prevents soft tissue loss, and improves survival in flap surgery performed for tissue defects. Despite the fact that it is not ethically appropriate to perform controlled, double-blind, prospective, patient-based hirudotherapy studies to obtain evidence-based results, the benefits of hirudotherapy in clinical practice are apparent.
Keywords: Leech; Hirudotherapy; Flap; Trauma; Open Fracture
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