Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Explosions are the main cause of spine injuries to wounded military personnel

Date:
September 19, 2012
Source:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Summary:
Spinal injuries are among the most disabling conditions affecting wounded members of the US military. Yet until recently, the nature of those injuries had not been adequately explored.

Spinal injuries are among the most disabling conditions affecting wounded members of the U.S. military. Yet until recently, the nature of those injuries had not been adequately explored.

In a new study recently published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), a team of orthopaedic surgeons reviewed more than eight years of data on back, spinal column, and spinal cord injuries sustained by American military personnel while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. The injuries were then categorized according to anatomic location, neurological involvement, the cause of the injury, and accompanying wounds.

The resulting analysis is an important first step in helping orthopaedic surgeons develop treatment plans for these service members, as well as for severely injured civilians who sustain similar disabling injuries.

Key Findings:

  • Of 10,979 evacuated combat casualties, 598 (5.45 percent) sustained a total of 2,101 spinal injuries.
  • Explosions accounted for 56 percent of spine injuries, motor vehicle collisions for 29 percent, and gunshots for 15 percent.
  • 92 percent of all injuries were fractures.
  • The average age at the time of injury was 26.5 years of age.
  • 90 percent of the injured were enlisted personnel.
  • 84 percent of patients sustained their wounds as a result of combat.
  • In 17 percent of injuries to the spine, the spinal cord also was injured.
  • 53 percent of all gunshot wounds to the spine resulted in a spinal cord injury.
  • Spinal injuries were frequently accompanied by injuries to the abdomen, chest, head, and face.

"In these current military conflicts, the latest technologies in body armor, helmets, and other protective devices have helped save many soldiers' lives," says James A. Blair, MD, an orthopaedic surgery chief resident in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX. "We also have access to advanced life-saving techniques in the field and medical evacuation strategies that are keeping many more service members alive.

"But when a person survives an explosion or vehicle collision, there has still been a great deal of force on the body," Blair adds. "Many of those survivors are coming to us with severe injuries to their spine and back. We needed to describe and characterize these injuries so recommendations can be made on how to provide the most effective treatment and rehabilitation for our wounded warriors."

Although the survival rate is high for such injuries, the disability rate also is quite high. This affects not only the service members, but also their families and the U.S. healthcare system. Therefore, the study's authors note, further research is required to improve future outcomes for those with spinal injuries.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. James A. Blair et al. Spinal Column Injuries Among Americans in the Global War on Terrorism. J Bone Joint Surg Am, Sep 19;94(18):e135 1-9; 2012 DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.K.00502

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Explosions are the main cause of spine injuries to wounded military personnel." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120919135316.htm>.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2012, September 19). Explosions are the main cause of spine injuries to wounded military personnel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120919135316.htm
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Explosions are the main cause of spine injuries to wounded military personnel." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120919135316.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins