Profile of spinal injuries in Lagos, Nigeria

Spinal Cord. 2009 Feb;47(2):134-7. doi: 10.1038/sc.2008.93. Epub 2008 Aug 5.


Study design: Retrospective study.

Objective: To describe the pattern and outcome of spinal cord injuries in Lagos, Nigeria.

Setting: Nigeria, Lagos.

Methods: This retrospective review of cases was conducted at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos, between January 1992 and December 2006.

Results: A total of 468 cases of spinal cord injury over the 15-year period were studied. Three hundred and twelve of them (66.2%) were aged 40 years and below, with the peak age incidence as 21-30 years. There were 328 males (70.1%) and 140 females (29.9%) showing a male to female ratio of 2.34:1. Road traffic accident accounted for 362 (77.4%) patients. At presentation, 430 (91.9%) of the injuries were of ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association) class A. Lumbar spine was affected in 278 (59.4%) of patients, whereas cervical spine accounted for 142 (30.3%). The most frequently seen complication was bedsore, seen in 163 (59.9%) of 272 patients that had complications. On discharge, 230 patients (49.1%) were in ASIA class A and 34 (7.5%) in ASIA E. Eighty-two patients (17.5%) died.

Conclusion: Spinal injuries in Lagos occurred mostly in young adult males affecting mainly the lumbar spine. Traffic-related incidents were the leading cause and bedsore the most common complication.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Spinal Injuries / etiology
  • Young Adult