JOURNAL ARTICLE

Cervical spine fragility fractures in older people: 5-year experience at a regional spine centre

Ahmad Tarawneh, Syed Taqvi, Khalid Salem, Opinder Sahota
Age and Ageing 2020 June 10
32520992

BACKGROUND: cervical spine fractures are particularly prevalent in older people and commonly occur following a fall from standing height or less. Atlanto-axial complex (AAC) and, particularly, odontoid process (OP) fractures are the most prevalent injuries.

OBJECTIVE: to investigate the incidence and characteristics of cervical spine fractures in older patients presenting to a regional spine centre.

METHODS: a retrospective review of the clinical records and imaging of all patients aged 70 years and over presenting to a regional spinal unit with a cervical injury over a 5-year period was performed. Patient demographics, mechanism of injury, level of fracture, stability of the fracture, treatment modality, imaging modality and mortality rates were collected and analysed.

RESULTS: during the period between 2015 and 2019, a total of 209 patients aged 70 years and over were presented to the regional spine unit. The mean age at presentation was 82.4 (±7.5) years. Low-energy trauma was the commonest mechanism of injury (n = 169; 80.9%). MRI was undertaken in a quarter of the patients. One-hundred and fifty-one patients (72.2%) suffered an AAC Injury with OP fractures forming the majority of this group (n = 119; 78.8%). One-hundred and ninety-nine patients were treated conservatively, and the overall 30-day mortality rate was 8.1%.

CONCLUSION: cervical spine fractures are not uncommon amongst older people and are mostly the result of low-energy trauma and predominantly affect the axial cervical spine. The majority of these injuries are managed conservatively with an orthosis. The fractures nevertheless are a serious injury, with a high mortality rate at 30 days.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
32520992
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"