Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2009 , Vol 55 , Num 2

Comparison of the Differences Between Traumatic and Non-traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Necmettin Yıldız 1 ,Hakan Alkan 1 ,Ayşe Sarsan 1 ,Merih Özgen 2 ,Oya Topuz 3 ,Füsun Ardıç 4
1 Pamukkale Üniversitesi Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Denizli, Türkiye
2 Osmangazi Üniversitesi Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Eskişehir, Türkiye
3 Pamukkale Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Denizli
4 Pamukkale Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Denizli, Türkiye

Objective: We aim to compare the demographic, clinical and functional characteristics of the non-traumatic spinal cord injury (NT/SCI) patients and the traumatic spinal cord injury (T/SCI) patients.

Materials and Methods: Fifty patients diagnosed with SCI and applied a rehabilitation programme in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center of Pamukkale University were investigated retrospectively. The patients were divided into 2 groups as T/SCI and NT/SCI according to their etiology. Age, sex, etiology, level of injury, being complete or incomplete, time of admission to the hospital, duration of hospitalization, complications and functional status were analyzed.

Results: Out of 50 patients (34 male, 16 female) with eligible medical records, 13 patients were NT/SCI and 37 patients were T/SCI. In NT/SCI group majority of patients were male (%61.5), most encountered cause of injury was detected as spinal tumors (%46.2) and most of them were incomplete paraplegics (%69.2). Urinary tract infection was the major complication encountered in this group (%84.6). It was also noted that the mean age of NT/SCI patients was higher (53.07±14.5), than the T/SCI group (36.27±16.2) (p=0.02). Moreover incomplete to complete injury ratio was significantly higher in NT/SCI group (p=0.03). The comparison of duration before admission, FIM scores at admission and discharge, length of stay, sex, presence of pressure ulcer, spasticity, urinary tract infection, depression and pain between T/SCI and NT/SCI groups did not yield any significant difference (p≥0.05).

Conclusion: The findings in our study indicate that there are differences in terms of age and incomplete versus complete injury ratio among NT/SCI and T/SCI patients. Planning the rehabilitation programme in SCI considering demographic, clinic features and etiological factors and functional results is quite important to predict the target of rehabilitation and estimation of the outcome of treatment. 

Keywords : Non-traumatic spinal cord injury, traumatic spinal cord injury, rehabilitatio