Other Sources of Traumatic SCI

Other sources of traumatic SCI include blunt trauma and birth injuries. Cases of birth-related SCI often present clinical features such as difficult delivery, absent respiration, flaccid paralysis, sensory level, and neurogenic bladder (Adams et al. 1988). Furthermore, in Adams and colleagues (1988) study reviewing the medical records of eight neonates with birth-related SCI, myelography results revealed that seven participants had swollen cords and one experienced cord atrophy. These situations are unusual with abnormal presentations – either cephalic, breech, or face presentations (MacKinnon et al. 1993; Vialle et al. 2008). Birth injuries were elaborated upon by Ruggieri, Smárason, & Pike (1999). Their research concluded that spinal cord lesions were mostly cervical and thoracolumbar. More males were affected by lesions than females. Additionally, the incidence of preterm delivery, multiple pregnancy, breech presentation, forceps delivery, and cesarean delivery were higher than average. Forceps delivery was associated with cervical lesions (Ruggieri et al. 1999).

With regard to blunt trauma injuries, studies have found that the lower cervical spine is the most common site of cervical spine injury (CSI) in children, with fractures being the most common type of injury. CSI is uncommon among children aged 8 years or younger (Viccellio et al. 2001). General blunt trauma is often comprised of injuries from motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, and assaults – these etiologies are more commonly discussed and have been mentioned above. Poly-trauma is another injury mechanism associated with spinal injury. Research tackling this etiology has shown similar findings to that of singular-trauma patients. For instance, in their study, Hofbauer et al. (2012) observed that younger children (age 0-9 years) were more likely to sustain injuries to the upper spine region, whereas injuries to the lumbar region only occurred in adolescents.