Mortality and burden of cervical spine fractures in the elderly: can we do more? (2017)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Matthew Chan, *Benjamin Chatterton, *David Ford

Citation:
Spine Journal; Mar 2017; vol. 17 (no. 3), S20

Abstract:
BACKGROUND CONTEXT: Cervical spine fractures in the elderly are a significant injury that poses difficult treatment dilemmas. Despite this little has been done to evaluate the mortality and hospital burden. PURPOSE: Evaluate the mortality and hospital burden associated with cervical spine fractures in elderly patients at district general hospitals. STUDY DESIGN/SETTING: 10-year retrospective analysis of patients over the age of 70 presenting with a cervical spine fracture to two district general hospitals. METHODS: The data was collected from documentation on online hospital database systems. Data recorded included patient demographics, injuries sustained including level and mechanism of cervical injury, length of stay and details on inpatient complications, inpatient mortality and one-year mortality. RESULTS: 153 patients were identified with a mean age of 83, and slight female predominance (55%). Mechanical falls (90%) leading to isolated fractures of upper cervical spine, particularly C2 (52%), were the most common site and mechanism of injury. Inpatient mortality was 22.9%, and 1-year mortality was calculated at 35.3%. Inpatient medical complications, particularly chest infections, were common and occurred in 35.9% of patients. Total average length of stay was 18 days, and critical care input was required in 10.5% of patients. CONCLUSIONS: Cervical spine fractures in the elderly cause significant mortality and hospital burden. Medical complications are common, leading to increased morbidity and length of stay. Consideration should be made to develop national guidance akin to hip fractures. This would encourage a multidisciplinary team approach, including early input from medical and physiotherapy teams to ensure more effective treatment and prevention of complications.

Adult distal radius fractures classification systems: essential clinical knowledge or abstract memory testing? (2016)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
*Shehovych, A, *Salar, O, *Meyer, Cer, *Ford, D J

Citation:
Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Nov 2016, vol. 98, no. 8, p. 525-531

Abstract:
Classification systems should be tools for concise communication, which ideally can predict prognosis and guide treatment. They should be relevant, reproducible, reliable, properly validated and most importantly simple to use and understand. There are 15 described distal radius classification systems present in the literature in the past 70 years, of which 8 are discussed in this paper. For each classification, we give an insight into its history, strengths and weaknesses, and provide evidence from the literature on reliability and reproducibility. Sadly, on completion of this paper we have not found a distal radius fracture classification that proved to be useful. Failings range from poor reproducibility and reliability, and over-complexity mainly emanating from the inability to classify this spectrum of injury in all of its manifestations. Consequently, we would suggest that classification systems for acute adult distal radius fractures are not useful clinical knowledge but mainly historical and/or research tools. Moreover, we would discourage trainees from spending time learning these classifications, as they serve not as essential clinical knowledge but more as forms of abstract memory testing.

Brachialis muscle tendon insertion avulsion fracture in a 6-year-old child (2014)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
*Crosswell S, *Mbah CA, *Hussain A, *Turner R

Citation:
BMJ Case Reports, 2014, vol./is. 2014/, 1757-790X (2014)

Abstract:
A 6-year-old boy, who fell while playing at school, presented to the fracture clinic with a suspected right distal radius fracture. On examination, the child was tender over the dorsal aspect of the distal radius and also had pain and stiffness around the elbow joint with a lack of the last 25° of elbow flexion. An acute haemarthrosis was also suspected at presentation. Plain anteroposterior (AP) and lateral radiographs of the elbow joint revealed an abnormal calcification superimposed on the anterior aspect of the coronoid process (figure 1A, B), which had not been visualised on plain radiographs in A&E.

Link to more details or full-text: http://casereports.bmj.com/content/2014/bcr-2013-202420.extract