DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.444 ISSN:

1216 Epidemiology, Management, and Outcome of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury at Two Hospitals in the South-West Region of Cameroon: A Five-Year Retrospective Review

B D Takoutsing, I Esene, A M Chichom
  • Surgery



To determine the prevalence, patterns, management, and outcome of traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) at the Buea Regional Hospital (BRH) and Limbe Regional Hospital (LRH).


We performed a descriptive cross-sectional study with a retrospective data collection of cases of TSCI admitted from January 1st, 2017, to December 31st, 2021. Chi-square was used for bivariate analysis assessing correlation between various patterns and outcome of TSCI. The p-value was considered statistically significant if <0.05.


TSCI represented 1% of hospital admissions. The majority were males (79.2%), and within the 25-44 years age group (55.6%). Referred patients represented 48.6% of cases. The most prevalent etiology was falls (43.7%). More than half (66.7%) had an incomplete SCI which correlated with the level of spine injury (p = 0.018). A spine CT scan was the neuroimaging modality of choice (65.3%). The treatment modalities varied, and the majority (92.3%) of those requiring surgery were operated on greater than 48 hours after injury. The morbidity rate was 36.1%, the severity of neurological injury improved in 23.6%, and the mortality rate was 16.9%. The level of spine injury and the initial severity of neurological injury correlated with the neurological outcome (p = 0.017; p = 0.007), and survival post-injury (p = 0.029; p = 0.006).


Males of the working age group are most at risk of TSCI. Most causes of TSCI at the are preventable, and their management deviates from recommendations. Their morbidity and mortality rates are high reflecting the realities of TSCI in sub-Saharan Africa.

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