Background: Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is recognized as a serious public health problem resulting in significant morbidity, mortality and permanent disability. The present study is aimed to describe the epidemiological characteristics and outcome of patients with traumatic spinal cord injury in rural tertiary referral care center form South India.
Material and methods: The present study was conducted at Narayana Medical College and Hospital, Nellore. All patients admitted and managed for traumatic spinal cord injury were retrieved and data collected in a pre-designed proforma. Patient characteristics, details of etiology, mechanism of injury, level of injury, extent of neurological deficits, details of investigations, details of management and immediate outcome were recorded.
Results: A total 152 patients were included in the present study. The mean age was 38.45 years and majority the patients were young adult males. The mean hospital stay was 19.12 days. 71.7% percent patients were non-agriculture workers (mainly involved in construction work) and 28.3% patients were farmers. 61.2% of the patients sustained injuries due to fall from height and 34.2% patients sustained injuries due road traffic accidents. Cervical spine injuries were most common (44.1%), followed by thoraco-lumbar region (36.8%) and dorsal spinal region (19.1%). 9 patients expired in post-injury during hospital stay and all of them had complete cervical spinal cord injury. All patients received aggressive rehabilitation care.
Conclusion: In accordance with the literature our results reflect that traumatic spinal cord injuries affect young population and can leave these persons with significant functional and physical morbidity. The major limitation of the study is that it is a single institution based and may not reflect the true spectrum of traumatic spinal cord injuries in the population.