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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-36

A review of traumatic spinal cord injuries at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria


1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria
2 Department of Physiotherapy, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Chima C Ihegihu
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State
Nigeria
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DOI: 10.4103/1119-0388.130180

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Objective: To determine the pattern of traumatic spinal cord injuries in our center. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of 46 case files of patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries, treated by the Orthopedic and Physiotherapy Units at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria from January 1 2001 to December 31 2005 (a five-year period). Results: A total of 46 patients were treated within this period. Thirty-four case files with complete data were reviewed. Thirty of the patients (88.2%) were males, while four (11.8%) were females. The male: female ratio was 7.5 to 1. The age range was from 15 years to 72 years. The mean age was 42 years and the median was 40 years. Most of the injuries, 64.7%, were as a result of a fall from a height. The most common level of injury was of the thoracic spine, 17 patients (50%); followed by the lumbar spine, 11 patients (32.4%); and cervical spine, six (17.6%) patients. Conclusion: Most of the injuries in this study were a result of a fall from a height, hence, could have been prevented. Use of better climbing tools and precautionary measures taken to ensure that scaffolds were built with good quality wood or steel, making them well secured, may have led to a reduction in the incidence of fall from a height.


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