Cervical spinal injury in elderly: report of 20 cases

Research paper by M. Hanci, B. E. Gençosmanoglu, M. Uzan, C. Kuday

Indexed on: 01 Jun '00Published on: 01 Jun '00Published in: European journal of orthopaedic surgery & traumatology : orthopedie traumatologie


According to epidemiological studies; spinal injuries seem to be a disease of younger population. However it is not uncommon in elderly. In this retrospective study we analysed twenty patients with cervical spinal injury, aged from 65 to 90 years with respect to age, gender, trauma admission interval, bony lesions, neurological status and treatment modalities. In this series the major etiological factors were simple falls and motor vehicle accidents. We observed no gender predominance. Eleven patients were neurologically intact while five patients had complete cord injury and four had incomplete lesions.The choice of treatment was conservative treatment for the majority of patients while only one patient had posterior fusion. The early mortality rate for the patients with complete lesions was very high. Although our series consist of only 20 patients, as a conclusion we can suggest that in selected cases with minor degree of spinal instability, slightly less rigid forms of external immobilisation such as rigid cervical collar may be a good alternative for halo device.