Objective: To determine the types and causes of Spinal cord injuries presenting to AFIRM and compare them with international data.
Study Design: Cross sectional descriptive study.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted at the Spinal unit of Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine Rawalpindi from January 2011 to June 2011.
Material and Methods: Forty patients of SCI were included in the study. Patients with concomitant neurological injuries were excluded from the study. History and examination of the patients was carried out and demographic data including etiology of injury was noted on proforma. These results were then compared with the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Centre (NSCISC) database of the U.S.
Results: Forty Patients (mean age 32.37 years +/-10 years) including 31 males (77.5%) and 9 (22.5%) females were sampled. Overall 12 were unemployed (30%) and 28(70%) were employed. Out of the total sample, 7 (17.5%) patients were single and 33(82.5%) were married. 32 (80%) of the patients suffered a traumatic injury and 8 (20%) suffered non traumatic injury. Out of those patients suffering from traumatic injury 22 (55%) were army personnel.
Conclusion: Young, male, patients suffering traumatic SCI dominated the study. This is because most of the patients reporting to our centre were active duty military personnel presenting with these demographics. These results are comparable with the NSCIS data of the U.S. for some parameters but quite different in others. This means that we need to develop our own data base for spinal cord injury statistics in order to improve our services at a national level.
AFIRM, Demographics, Spinal cord injury.