the-spine-journalA study recently assessed the mortality rate of older adults with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) related to cervical spine (C-spine) fractures and sought to pinpoint key factors that contribute to a higher risk of negative outcomes.

The retrospective study, conducted at two Level 1 trauma centers, reportedly encompassed 37 consecutive patients aged 60 years and older with SCIs related to C-spine fractures.

The researchers note that during the study, hospital medical records were reviewed independently. Outcome measures included level of injury, injury severity, pre-injury medical comorbidities, treatment (operative vs. non-operative), and cause of death.

Researchers add that baseline radiographs and computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scans were assessed in order to permit categorization according to the mechanistic classification by Allen and Ferguson of subaxial C-spine injuries. A news release notes that the researchers performed univariate logistic regressional analyses to pinpoint factors linked to in-hospital mortality and ambulation at discharge.

The study’s results concluded that in participants, neurological recovery was poor and the in-hospital mortality rate was high. The researchers note that the highest risk factors for mortality included injury level and severity of SCI. While the researchers acknowledge that each case of SCI related is different, physicians may be able to use the study’s findings to assist in better determining prognosis and guiding subsequent treatment.

Source: The Spine Journal