Sexual Function Is Impaired After Common Orthopaedic Nonpelvic Trauma

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and longitudinal improvement of patient reported sexual dysfunction after 5 common nonpelvic orthopaedic traumatic conditions.


Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.


Academic Medical Center.


The functional status of 1324 patients with acute proximal humerus fractures (n = 104), acute distal radius fractures (n = 396), acute tibial plateau fractures (n = 118), acute ankle fractures (n = 434), and chronic long bone fracture nonunions (n = 272) was prospectively assessed at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months of posttreatment. Patient reported sexual dysfunction, acquired from validated functional outcomes surveys, was compared with overall patient reported functional outcome for each follow-up visit. Men and women were analyzed separately.


Sexual dysfunction at the 3-month follow-up was reported in 31% of proximal humerus fracture patients, 32% of distal radius fracture patients, 47% of tibial plateau patients, 11% of ankle fracture patients, and 42% of long bone nonunions. By 1-year follow-up, greater than 80% of patients with all fracture types reported mild or no sexual dysfunction. Women reported a significantly higher degree of sexual dysfunction than men at 6 months (P = 0.003) and 12 months of follow-up (P = 0.031).


After treatment of acute and chronic orthopaedic trauma conditions, a considerable number of patients experience sexual dysfunction, with women reporting more dysfunction than men. The results of this study should allow orthopaedic trauma surgeons to counsel patients regarding expectations of sexual function after traumatic orthopaedic conditions.

Level of Evidence:

Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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