This study provided a retrospective analysis of 106 pediatric
patients 17 years of age or younger who incurred spinal cord injuries (SCIs) during the last decade in Istanbul. Data were retrieved from the medical records of the patients, who were admitted to Istanbul University's Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty and 70. Yil Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training Hospital from January 1992 to December 2002. The patients were evaluated with respect to demographic data, cause of injury, and level of injury as well as completeness of injury, radiologic findings, and mortality rate. The mean age of the patients was 12.67 ± 4.3 years, and the male-to-female ratio was 2:1. The most common cause of injury was motor vehicle accidents (41%), followed by falls from heights (33.6%), diving injuries (10.3%), and gunshot wounds (9.3%). The levels of injury, in descending order of frequency, were cervical (47.2%), thoracic (34.9%), and lumbar (12.3%). Complete and incomplete SCIs were seen in 55% and 45% of patients, respectively. SCIs without radiographic abnormalities were only seen in 1.9% of the patients in this series. The overall mortality rate was 9.4%. SCI caused by trauma
is relatively uncommon in children, but the results may be catastrophic. This study aims to provide a statistical analysis of pediatric
SCI cases admitted to our clinics and tries to estimate the situation in Turkey on the basis of the demographic features of Istanbul. The importance of preventive measures is also stressed.