Paper| Volume 23, ISSUE 6, P397-400, 1992

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Injuries to the spinal cord in elderly patients

  • J.E. Kiwerski
    Requests for reprints should be addressed to: Dr J. E. Kiwerski, Rehabilitation Clinic of Warsaw Medical Academy, 05-511 Konstancin, Wierzejewskiego 12, Poland.
    Rehabilitation Clinic of Warsaw Medical Academy, Konstancin, Poland
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      There are certain differences between the mechanism of injury and the course and results of treatment of post-traumatic spinal cord injuries in younger and older victims. Between 1965 and 1990 there were 564 patients over 60 years of age with spinal cord or cauda equina injuries treated at the Spinal Cord Centre in Konstancin, Poland. This article presents the level and degree of the nervous system injury, the methods of treatment and early mortality in the series. Of the patients, 43 per cent were aged between 60 and 65 years, but 31 per cent were patients over 70 years of age. More patients sustained injury to the cervical spine (72 per cent), and 42 per cent of lesions to the spinal cord were neurologically assessed as complete transverse cases. This paper stresses the high mortality rate, amounting to 26 per cent overall and 48 per cent in the groups with complete spinal cord lesions.
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