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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 546--550

Pediatric thoracolumbar spinal injuries: The etiology and clinical spectrum of an uncommon entity in childhood

1 Department of Neurosurgery, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Neuroimaging and Interventional Radiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Sampath Somanna
Department of Neurosurgery, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Hosur Road, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/neuroindia.NI_1243_15

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Background: Pediatric thoracolumbar (TL) spinal injuries are uncommon entities with an incidence of 5–34% of all pediatric spinal injuries. There is a scarcity of studies done on the pediatric population in the developing countries like India. This study aims to review our experience with TL spine injuries in children over a 12-year period. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the epidemiology, risk factors, mechanisms, patterns of injury and management of pediatric TL injuries in our population. Results: There were 90 children with TL spine injuries comprising 2% of all the spine injuries treated in our institute. The mean age was 15.9 ± 3.2 years (range: 2–18 years) with a male predominance (3:1). The most common mode of injury was fall from height. 64/90 (71.1%) children sustained injury due to fall from height, 18/90 (20%) children sustained injury following motor vehicle accident and rest of the children sustained injury due to the fall of a heavy object over the neck. Most of the patients (27.8%) sustained Grade A injury. Lumbar spine was the most common spinal level injured (53.3%), and fractures were the most common type of injury (93.3%). Surgical fixation was performed in 18/90 (20%) children. Follow-up was available for 21 children of which 13 (62%) were ambulant at follow-up. Conclusion: TL injuries are rare and are most common in children older than 10 years and mainly involve the lumbar region. When indicated, surgical fusion of the involved vertebrae is safe and effective.


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