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Results: 5

Antibiotics to prevent infection of the brain coverings (meningitis) in patients with basilar skull fracture

Basilar skull fracture (7% to 15.8% of all skull fractures) places the central nervous system in contact with bacteria from the nose and throat and may be associated with cerebrospinal fluid leakage (occurring in 2% to 20.8% of patients). Blood or watery discharge from the nose or ears, bruising behind the ear or around the eyes, hearing loss, inability to perceive odours or facial asymmetry may lead physicians to the diagnosis of basilar skull fracture. Patients with a basilar skull fracture may develop meningitis and some doctors give antibiotics in an attempt to reduce this risk.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Resorbable versus titanium plates for facial fractures

Facial fractures with bone displacement are a frequent occurrence in individuals who have suffered trauma. They may cause functional and cosmetic problems. The management should include repositioning and immobilising the fractured bones to restore the functional and cosmetic properties of injured bone(s). Conventionally, titanium plates are used to immobilise the displaced segments and are recognised as the 'gold standard'. Recently, bioresorbable plates have been introduced as an alternative with the advantage of omitting, in some cases, the necessity for the second operation to remove the metal plate. However, there are uncertainties about the stability of resorbable fixations, the length of time required for their resorption, the possibility of foreign body reactions, and with some of the technical difficulties experienced with resorbable plates. The review authors did not identify any randomised controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of resorbable fixations with conventional titanium plates. However, three ongoing trials were identified two of which were stopped before completion mainly because of, in one trial, the complications in the resorbable group. The findings of these aborted trials do not suggest that resorbable plates are as effective as titanium plates. Further randomised controlled trials should be well designed and reported according to the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement (http://www.consort‐statement.org/).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2008

Helmets are shown to reduce motorcyclist head injury and death

Motorcyclists are at high risk in traffic crashes, particularly for head injury. A review of studies concluded that helmets reduce the risk of head injury by around 69% and death by around 42%. There is, so far, insufficient evidence to compare the effectiveness of different types of helmet. Some studies have suggested that helmets may protect against facial injury and that they have no effect on neck injury, but more research is required for a conclusive answer. The review supports the view that helmet use should be actively encouraged worldwide for rider safety.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2008

Surgical versus conservative management for an odontoid fracture (a serious neck injury)

The seven bones making up the neck region of the backbone are called the cervical vertebrae. The first vertebra, called the atlas, supports the skull. Underneath this is the axis or second vertebra, which has a upward pointing process called the odontoid process around which the atlas can rotate, enabling the head to be turned. Fracture of the odontoid process is a serious injury and is often fatal. In survivors there is a risk of ongoing damage to the spinal cord and paralysis. People with these fractures are often treated conservatively, which entails stabilisation of the neck in devices such as a 'Halo' (external frame) and/or rigid collar for several months. Another option is surgical stabilisation of the fractured parts. The review aimed to examine the evidence from randomised controlled trials comparing surgical versus conservative treatment for these fractures to find if either approach gave a better outcome. Despite a comprehensive search, the review authors found no evidence from completed randomised controlled trials to inform the choice between surgical and conservative management.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

How does the spine work?

The spine keeps us upright and connects different parts of the skeleton to each other. Although it is made up of a chain of bones, it is flexible due to elastic ligaments and spinal disks.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: January 6, 2014

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