A survey on spinal cord injuries resulting from stabbings; a case series study of 12 years' experience
Keywords:Spinal cord injury, Stab wound, Penetrating
BACKGROUND: Penetrating spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are an uncommon injury and not reported very frequently. SCIs cause sensory, motor and genitourinary system problems or a combination of sensorimotor dysfunctions. These are among the most debilitating kinds of disorders and negatively affect quality of life, not only for the patient, but also for their family members. Therefore, the present study aims to evaluate complete or incomplete SCIs and the course of the injury and the prognosis for SCIs caused by stab wounds. METHODS: This case-series design study was performed on 57 patients attending the emergency department of Taleqani Trauma Center (Kermanshah, Iran) due to SCIs caused by violent encounters involving sharp objects such as a knife, dagger, whittle and Bowie knife between 1999 and 2011. An assessment of sensory and motor functions was performed as part of the neurological examination on admission, and during the treatment, using the Frankel Classification grading system, and the results were recorded. RESULTS: The average age of patients was 27 years (SD= 7.9, Range=17 to 46 years). The results of the study showed a proportion of cervical, thoracic and lumbar injuries of 23 (40%), 24 (42%) and 10 (18%), respectively. There was no case of cerebrospinal fluid leakage (CSF) or infection at the wound site in the subjects. Regarding the extent of the SCI, the combined neurological assessment showed that several patients (43%) had a complete SCI with no sensory and motor functions in the sacral segments and the segments below the site of injury. In 32 patients (57%) incomplete injuries were observed; i.e. they showed only some degrees of sensory-motor functions that were below the neurological level. CONCLUSION: Both complete and incomplete SCIs are of great importance because the prognosis of SCI is directly associated with the location and extent of injury. It should be considered that partial recovery from SCIs is possible in few cases of complete injuries. Therefore, all the patients should be treated carefully and seriously. © 2012 KUMS, All right reserved
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