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Title:

Surgical compared with nonsurgical management of fractures in male veterans with chronic spinal cord injury

Author(s):

Bethel M, Bailey L, Weaver F, Le B, Burns SP, Svircev JN, Heggeness MH, Carbone LD

Year:

2015

Publication Info:

Spinal Cord, 53(5):402-407

Abstract:

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review of a clinical database.
OBJECTIVES: To examine treatment modalities of incident appendicular fractures in men with chronic SCI and mortality outcomes by treatment modality.
SETTING: United States Veterans Health Administration Healthcare System.
METHODS: This was an observational study of 1979 incident fractures that occurred over 6 years among 12?162 male veterans with traumatic SCI of at least 2 years duration from the Veterans Health Administration (VA) Spinal Cord Dysfunction Registry. Treatment modalities were classified as surgical or nonsurgical treatment. Mortality outcomes at 1 year following the incident fracture were determined by treatment modality.
RESULTS: A total of 1281 male veterans with 1979 incident fractures met inclusion criteria for the study. These fractures included 345 (17.4%) upper-extremity fractures and 1634 (82.6%) lower-extremity fractures. A minority of patients (9.4%) were treated with surgery. Amputations and disarticulations accounted for 19.7% of all surgeries (1.3% of all fractures), and the majority of these were done more than 6 weeks following the incident fracture. There were no significant differences in mortality among men with fractures treated surgically compared with those treated nonsurgically.
CONCLUSIONS: Currently, the majority of appendicular fractures in male patients with chronic SCI are managed nonsurgically within the VA health-care system. There is no difference in mortality by type of treatment.

Link to Article:

http://www.nature.com/sc/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/sc20155a.html

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