Spine Surgery and Related Research
Online ISSN : 2432-261X
ISSN-L : 2432-261X
Epidemiological Characteristics of Dorsal and Lumbar Spine Trauma Presenting to a Trauma Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal: Formulation of a National Spine Policy
Gaurav Raj DhakalSantosh PaudelSiddharth DhunganaGanesh GurungYoshiharu Kawaguchi
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2018 Volume 2 Issue 4 Pages 249-252


Introduction: Outcome of spine injury treated in resource constrained regions may not be the same as in developed nations. The aim of the present study was to study the epidemiological characteristics, delay, complications, and outcome of surgically treated dorsal and lumbar trauma.

Methods: Retrospective study of dorsal and lumbar spine injury patients treated between December 2015 and August 2017. Patients were segregated into four groups based on the timing of surgery: 0-2 days, 3-7 days, 8-30 days, and more than 31 days. Only one operating room twice a week was allotted to spine surgery, and spine had to compete with orthopedic and surgical trauma for admission and surgery.

Results: Ninety-one patients (male 61) with mean age 33 years were operated for dorsal and lumbar spine injuries. 84% of the total patients sustained a fall, and 86.8% were from the periphery. Though 69.2% presented within 2 days, only 4.4% were operated within 2 days. Majority of the delay was due to unavailability of the operating room followed by financial constraints. Twenty-seven patients had complete deficit, 32 incomplete deficit, and 32 normal neurology. Four patients operated within 2 days improved their neurology, 7 incomplete deficit patients in 3-7 days group improved, 6 in 8-30 days group improved, whereas no patient in more than 31 days group improved. Overall 53.1% of neurologically incomplete deficit patients improved if operated within 30 days. No neurological improvement was seen in the 27 complete deficit patients. Wound infection, pulmonary contusion, and deep vein thrombosis were seen in 3 patients.

Conclusions: As expected 95.6% of our patients were treated more than 3 days after injury and 60% more than a week later, which may not be acceptable in advanced countries. Despite the delay, 53.1% had an improvement in neurology when operated within 30 days. Hence, surgery still holds the hope of neurological recovery and quicker rehabilitation.

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© 2018 The Japanese Society for Spine Surgery and Related Research.

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