Traumatic spinal cord injuries in Southeast Turkey: an epidemiological study

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Karamehmetoglu S. , Nas K., Karacan I. , Sarac A., Koyuncu H., Ataoglu S., ...More

SPINAL CORD, vol.35, no.8, pp.531-533, 1997 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/
  • Title of Journal : SPINAL CORD
  • Page Numbers: pp.531-533


In 1994, a retrospective study of new cases of traumatic Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) was conducted in all the hospitals in Southeast Turkey: 75 new traumatic SCI were identified. The estimated annual incidence was 16.9 per million population. The male/female ratio was 5.8/1. The mean age was 31.3, being 31.25 for male patients and 31.36 for female patients. 70.7% of all patients were under the age of 40. The major causes of SCI were falls (37.3%) and gunshot wounds (29.3%), followed by car accidents (25.3%), and stab wounds (1.3%). Thirty one patients (41.3%) were tetraplegic and 44 (58.7%) paraplegic. In tetraplegic patients the commonest level was C5, in those with paraplegia L1. The commonest associated injury was head trauma followed by fractures of the extremity(ies). Severe head trauma, being a major cause of death, may have obscured the actual incidence of SCI. Most of gunshot injured SCI patients were young soldiers fighting against the rebels. As there was no available data for the rebels with SCI, the actual incidence of SCI in Southeast (SE) Turkey should be higher than that found in this study.