Author(s): Chen R, Song Y, Kong Q, Zhou C, Liu L
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Abstract To analyze the clinical features of patients with spinal injuries and to better cope with future disasters, we retrospectively reviewed 78 patients' medical records after the 2008 Sichuan, China, earthquake. All patients survived, and the mean time patients spent under rubble was 12.2 hours. The largest number of victims were in the 30- to 39-year age group (24.3\%), followed by the 20- to 29-year age group (21.8\%) and the 40- to 49-year age group (20.5\%). Isolated spinal injuries occurred in 55 patients (71.5\%). Multilevel spinal injuries occurred in 23 patients (29.5\%). The most common region for spinal injuries was the lumbar spine (38.5\%), followed by the thoracic spine and the cervical spine. Nearly 53.8\% of these spinal injuries resulted in some form of neurologic disability. Thoracic injury contributed to the majority of the neurologic injury. Lumbar injury seldom resulted in neurologic damage. Almost all cervical injuries were associated with severe spinal cord injury. The majority of patients sustained injuries in addition to their spinal injuries. More than one-third of patients (35.7\%) had upper extremity fractures, 12.1\% had pelvic fractures, and 44.5\% had lower extremity fractures. The most commonly injured bone in the upper extremity was the humerus and in the lower extremity, the femur. Other associated injuries included head (19.6\%), thoracic (39.8\%), abdominal (8.9\%), and urologic (2.56\%) injuries. The high frequency of multilevel injuries of the spine and additional injuries reaffirms the need for vigilance in patient assessment.
This article was published in Orthopedics
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation