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Schweiz Z Med Traumatol. 1994;(1):17-20.

[Current status of spinal injuries in winter sports].

[Article in German]

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Unfallchirurgische Abteilung Bez.-Krankenhaus Hall in Tirol.


Parallel with a marked escalation in the number of injuries of the skull, shoulder girdle and upper extremities in recent years, the incidence of spinal injuries has also intensified. This is due to an increase in speed and deceleration traumas, such as are particular to collision accidents. Of all patients with winter sports injuries at the Department of Traumatology at Innsbruck University Hospital, 4.9% have a spinal trauma. A retrospective ten-year study was undertaken to analyze the surgically treated spinal injuries out of overall winter sports injuries. Between 1982 and 1992 862 spinal injuries were surgically treated, 10.9% (94) of which were suffered in winter sports accidents. Of these winter sports injuries, 81.7% (76) were due to skiing accidents. The age group 15 to 25 years made up the largest contingent at 39.8% (37). Most spinal traumas (47.3%), whether suffered in winter sports or not, were located in the thoracolumbar region or the lumbar part of the spine, followed by 38.7% at the cervical vertebrae. Serious snowboard accidents are especially predestined for injuries of the cervical vertebrae. The age group 51 to 60 years also shows a trend to injure the cervical vertebrae; degenerative changes present in this age span cause a high percentage of accompanying neurological injuries. More than half (52.7%) of all surgically treated spinal injuries showed some loss or impairment of neurological function at the time of admission; 17.2% of these cases showed symptoms of a complete transverse lesion of the cord. 36% of all serious spinal injuries are accompanied by secondary injuries (such as craniocerebral trauma, thoracic trauma and other fractures).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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