Keywords : Survival rate
THE EFFICACY AND SAFETY OF CERVICAL SPINE IMMOBILIZATION IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH CERVICAL SPINE FRACTURES: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
Basrah Journal of Surgery,
2020, Volume 26, Issue 1, Pages 38-45
As both life expectancy and average population age continue to rise, so too does the incidence of cervical spine (c-spine) injuries. C-spine fractures are associated with high morbidity and mortality, but the question is how best to treat them?
This review is to compare the safety and efficacy of c-spine immobilisation in a rigid collar with other treatment modalities in elderly population. Available literature was reviewed to determine how treatment efficacy is assessed, with particular focus on whether osseous union or fibrous non-bony union should be considered as a successful outcome.
This study was designed in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Pubmed/Medline databases were selected for analysis.
When considering patients over the age of 65, it is unclear whether management with a collar is safer than operative management or immobilisation with HALO vest. However, amongst studies that further subdivide elderly patients according to age there is more of a consensus; it appears that in those under the age of 75, operative management is safer, whereas in those over the age of 85, immobilisation in a collar is associated with lower mortality rates. Between the ages of 75-85 there is less clarity. Osseous union occurs more commonly in patients managed operatively, but fibrous non-bony union was not associated with any adverse outcomes in these studies.
Conclusion: At present, there are no randomised controlled trials that have tried to delineate whether management in a collar is safer or more effective than other treatments such as HALO vest or operative fixation. However, evidence from various cohort studies does suggest that “elderly” patients with c-spine fractures should not be considered as one homogenous cohort, but should instead be subdivided according to age. Interestingly, these studies suggest that fibrous non-bony union may be an adequate treatment outcome in older. Further research into this complex field is required.
Keywords: Trauma, elderly care, spinal fractures, treatment outcome, survival rate