Sadiq Ullah, Rahat Ullah, Kamran Manan, Syed Yousaf Khalid, Beena Khan, Syed Muhammad Shoaib Iftikhar, Fareeha Azeem


Introduction: Spinal cord injury is a medically complex and life disrupting condition, caused due to sudden trauma or non-traumatic reasons. The injury disrupts neural signaling and is a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment which can reduce long term affects like paralysis or partial disability of the body. It has costly consequences both for individual and family because it causes not only physical disability but dependency on others. The main objectives of the study were to determine the frequency of spinal injuries, as well as their nature and causes.

Materials & Methods: This descriptive study was conducted at neurosurgery units of two busy teaching hospitals of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in duration of 3 months (Oct-Dec 2014). The study population was all 768 patients admitted and operated for spinal cord illness during the year 2013. Data were collected from hospital records using structured questionnaire and 384 (50%) of the total study population were selected by random sampling through SPSS version 15.

Results: Major factors for spinal cord injury were traumatic and non-traumatic. This study revealed that of total patients, 35% faced trauma as a cause of spinal disorder out of which 42%, 29% and 21% were sudden fall, road traffic accidents (RTA) and weight lifting respectively. While non-traumatic causes were 52% mostly due to congenital anomalies (24%), stenosis (23%), and tumor (12%).  Levels most commonly involved were lumbar (42.3%) followed by patients involving multiple levels (32.52%), L5-S1 (20.87%), thoracic (2.42%), and cervical (1.92%).

Conclusions: The major cause of spinal cord injury was traumatic injury while congenital abnormalities and spinal cord stenosis were also common among patients with non-traumatic causes.  

Keywords: Spinal Cord Injury; Spine; Lumbar Vertebrae; Intervertebral Disc; Trauma, Nervous System; Paraplegia.

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