Aetiology and Imaging Findings in Traumatic Spine Injury among Patients Attending Muhimbili Orthopedics Institute in Dar es Salaam

  • J. Mboka
  • P. K. Sohal
  • R. Kazema
Keywords: spine trauma, vertebral fracture, computed tomography


Background: The main objective of the study was to determine etiology and imaging features of traumatic spine injury in spine injured patients attending Muhimbili orthopedics institute Methods: The study was a hospital based cross-sectional and consecutively included 87 with traumatic Spine Injury. Data was collected through a structured questionnaire. Statistical package for social science (SPSS 20) was used for data analysis.

Results: Eight seven (87) patients with traumatic spine injury were studied. The age range was 4 to 81 years, with a mean age of 33 years. Males were more affected than females. Young individuals aged 16-30 years were the most affected. The commonest cause of spine trauma was motor traffic crashes. The commonest vertebral spine injury seen was compression wedge fracture (35.6%), followed by dislocation (18.4%). The most frequent spine level involved was lumbar spine (37.9%). Paraplegia (33.3%) and quadriplegia (10.3%) were the common clinical presentations. Fifty six percent of patients had associated injuries

Conclusion: Traumatic spine injury is common at our settings. Young individuals below 30 years of age are most affected and the most common cause is motor traffic accident (MTA). The use of Computed Tomography (CT) in this study helped to identify several types of injuries especially injury to vertebral bodies and their effect unto neuro structures. MRI helped to identify patients with spinal cord injury which was not evident on CT.


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