Cervical Spine Injury: A ten‑year multicenter analysis of evolution of care and risk factors for poor outcome in southeast Nigeria
Study Design: Retrospective study.
Objective: To describe the evolution of care and risk factors for poor outcome in patients with cervical spine injury (CSI) treated at three centers in southeast Nigeria.
Setting: Nigeria, southeast.
Materials and Methods: A 10‑year retrospective multicenter analysis of patients with CSI, managed at three centers in southeast Nigeria, from January 2003 to December 2012.
Results: Two hundred and seven patients (55%) had CSI out of 377 spinal injury cases in the three study centers, but 195 cases had complete records and were studied. There were 148 males and 47 females. The age range was 3-74 years with a mean of 32.6 (±1.9) years 95% CI. Most injuries (149 cases) resulted from motor vehicular accidents (MVA). The C5 spinal level was involved in 75 (38%) cases One hundred and seventeen patients (60%) presented with American Spinal Injury Association A (ASIA A) injury. CSI care evolved from the application of a Minerva jacket or cervical traction only to cervical traction and spinal fusion resulting in a reduction in hospital stay (F = 52.5, DF (2, 3) P < 0.05). When compared to 51 patients with incomplete injuries, who improved in neurologic al status at discharge, only three patients with ASIA grade A experienced some improvement. The mortality rate from our series is 16% (32 patients). Those who died were more likely to have a complete injury (25 patients) or a high cervical injury (X2 = 61.2, P < 0.05) among other factors.
Conclusion: The cervical spine is the most commonly injured spinal segment in southeast
Nigeria. Although treatment evolution has resulted in reduction of hospital stay, the associated mortality risk still remains high.
Key words: Cervical spine injury, pattern, southeast Nigeria, treatment outcome