|Year : 2011 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 156
Anterior decompression, fusion and plating in cervical spine injury: Early experience in Abuja, Nigeria
Cedarcrest Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria
Background: We present a review of the results of the current surgical management of acute cervical spine injuries in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria. This is the first detailed retrospective study on the surgical management of patients with cervical spine injuries from Nigeria.
Methods: The medical reports of patients with traumatic cervical spine and spinal cord injuries undergoing surgery from 1 August 2009 till 30 August 2010 were reviewed. Management and early results of outcome were ascertained and detailed consecutively in a prospective Microsoft Office Access® database (Microsoft Group of Companies). Frankel grading was used for pre- and immediate post-operative evaluation (within 48 hours). The Barthel index (BI) was used to classify patients as dependent or independent at follow-up.
Results: Twenty consecutive patients presented with acute cervical spine and spinal cord injuries since August 2009. Twenty anterior cervical spine decompression and fixation with an iliac graft and an anterior cervical plate (ACDF) were performed in 18 patients. All operations were performed with general anaesthesia using standard techniques but without a microscope or a high speed drill. Of the 18 patients who were operated, 4 patients died within a short period following surgical intervention. Seven patients have made a full recovery and seven remain fully dependent. Only two of the dependent quadriplegic patients have become reintegrated back into the society.
Conclusion: The management of spinal cord injuries in Abuja is evolving. The operations were performed adequately with much limited complement of equipment. Poor intensive care therapy is a major challenge and improvements in this area of care will likely lead to better patient outcomes.
Cedarcrest Hospital, Abuja
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