In a pilot study from an American College of Surgeons (ACS)-verified Level One Trauma Center, we performed a retrospective analysis of patients with cervical spine fractures with or without spinal cord injury (SCI). Long-term mortality was determined from the National Death Index as of December 31, 2013.
Examine the influence of age and presence of SCI on time-to-surgery and long-term mortality in patients with cervical spine fractures.
Summary of Background Data:
Cervical spine fractures with or without SCI disproportionately impact the elderly, who constitute an increasing percentage of the US population. Early surgical intervention is a safe, modifiable factor that enables early mobilization and may reduce complications. Because of increased comorbidities, surgical treatment of elderly patients with cervical spinal fractures is complex, but prolonged time to surgery is increasingly considered as a factor impacting potential recovery after SCI.
Materials and Methods:
Retrospective chart review using hospital medical charts and mortality data from the National Death Index.
Data from patients with cervical spine fractures treated surgically were analyzed, with nearly equal numbers under and over age 65. There was no statistically significant difference between the 2 age groups with respect to time-to-surgery or long-term mortality. In addition, there was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups of patients, with or without SCI, with respect to time-to-surgery or long-term mortality.
There was no statistically significant differences between patients by age or by SCI status with respect to time-to-surgery or long-term mortality.