Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Pattern and presentation of spine trauma in Gwagwalada‑Abuja, Nigeria

A Ahidjo Kawu


Objective: The objective was to demonstrate the correlations and effects of age, gender, and cause of accident on the type of vertebral fracture as well as on the likelihood to sustain neurological deficit following trauma in Nigeria. Background: Spinal column injury is a well‑documented problem but literature has been mute on this problem in Nigeria unlike the many papers on spinal cord injury. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of spinal cord injured (SCI) patients was performed. Age, sex, cause and level of injury, fracture pattern and distribution, and neurologic presentation of SCI patients from 1997 to 2007 were studied from case notes. Results: There were 202 patients with male preponderance and a mean age of 38.9 ± 11.4 years over the 11‑year period. The most common cause of spine injury was road traffic injury (79.7%). Cervical spine injury (10.4%) accounted for the highest number of cases with complete neurologic deficit. The majority of patients, 119 (58.9%) sustained a type A fracture, 37 (18.3%) a type B fracture, and 41(20.3%) patients experienced a type C fracture. All patients had neurologic deficits. Age (P=0.032) and road traffic injury (P=0.029) were independently associated with type of fracture after multivariate analysis. Age (P=0.038), road traffic injury (P=0.027), and cervical spine fracture (P=0.009) were also independently associated with neurologic deficit. Conclusion: These data showed the correlation between trauma mechanism and the type of fracture seen, and also the type of fracture and the incidence of neurologic deficit. The predictors of fracture types are age and road traffic injury while age, road traffic injury, and cervical spine fractures predict neurologic deficit.

Keywords: Cervical spine injury, correlate, Gwagwalada, road traffic injury

Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice •Jan-Mar 2012 • Vol 15 • Issue 1
AJOL African Journals Online