Hong Kong Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery

Volume 5 Number 1, April 2001

Epidemiology of acute thoracolumbar fractures of young adults in Hong Kong

Chung OM
Quality Assurance Subcommittee of the Co-ordinating Committee in Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong.

This paper aimed to report on the epidemiological data of a prospective outcome study on acute thoracolumbar fracture of young adults in Hong Kong. The admission criteria for the study were emergency admissions with acute thoracolumbar spinal injury with or without neurological deficit; patient of age 15 to 45 years; patients with pathological fractures excluded. The study was conducted from 1 July 1995 to 30th June 1996 in 10 public hospitals with Accident and Emergency Departments and admission facilities. There were 104 patients: 81 men and 21 women (two had missing data). The mean age of patients was 32.5 years. The most frequent cause of injury was industrial accidents (38.5%). The three vertebrae most commonly fractured, in descending order, were L1, L2 and T12. Based on Denis' classification, there were 19 (15.1%) minor injuries, 51 (40.5%) compression fractures, 51 (40.5%) burst fractures, one (0.8%) seat-belt injury and four (3.2%) cases of fracture/dislocation. Twenty-two (21.2%) patients had neurological deficits, five were complete and 17 were incomplete. (Hong Kong j. orthop. surg. 2001;5(1):40-46)

Key Words: Adult; Lumbar vertebrae/injuries; Spinal fractures; Thoracic vertebrae/injuries




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