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Saudi Med J. 2013 Feb;34(2):161-5.

A retrospective study on traumatic spinal cord injury in an inpatient rehabilitation unit in central Saudi Arabia.

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  • 1Rehabilitation Medicine Division, Department of Neurosciences, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



To determine the causes, age and gender differences, hospital length of stay (HLoS), and prevalence of traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) in a Saudi referral trauma center.


We retrospectively reviewed hospital records of all patients who completed the TSCI rehabilitation program in the Rehabilitation Medicine Division, Department of Neurosciences at Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from August 1982 and November 2010. The age and gender of the patient, type and mechanism of trauma, type and severity of neurologic deficits, frequency, and HLoS of patient`s were collected for analysis.


The mean age of the patients was 29.7 +/- 0.73 years. Out of 466 TSCI patients, 398 were males (85.4%) and 68 were females (14.6%). The higher frequency of TSCI was found in the 16-30 age group, and a lower frequency was found in the 0-15 and more than 45 age groups. Out of the 466 TSCI patients 377 (80.1%) sustained their injuries as a result from motor vehicle accidents. Cervical cord was the most common site of injury accounting for 34% (n=137) of cases in male population, and in females, the higher frequency was the upper thoracic (n=31 [45.6%])There were 250 TSCI patients that stayed in the hospital for 1-70 days, and only 12 patients stayed in the hospital for more than 280 days.


Compared to females, the frequency of TSCI was higher in males, and 16-30 age group sustained more TSCI. Road traffic accident is the most common cause of injury, and more than 50% of the TSCI patients stayed in the hospital for less than 70 days.

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