Incidence of Traumatic Spinal Fractures in the Netherlands: Analysis of a Nationwide Database

LNAZ Research Group

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STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective database study based on prospectively collected data. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe the current incidence and epidemiology of traumatic spinal fractures in the Netherlands SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA.: Traumatic spinal fractures may lead to severe disability and have considerable consequences on healthcare capacity and costs. Several studies have reported a large and increasing share of fractures in elderly. Currently, a reliable, detailed, and up to date incidence of these injuries in the Netherlands is lacking. These numbers could aid in the composition of preventative measures. METHODS: All patients from 2010 to 2017 that were admitted with a spinal fracture were included. Patients were selected based on Abbreviated Injury Scores (AIS) codes. Collected data consisted of patient- and injury characteristics, afflicted spine-region, associated injury, referral- and discharge location, and geographic region of admittance. RESULTS: Overall, 29,637 patients were included in this study. The incidence of spinal fractures increased from 2010 to 2017 (from 21.5 to 24.0 per 100,000 inhabitants). Most patients were injured by a (low-energy) fall from the same level followed by (high-energy) traffic accidents. Elderly patients (≥65 years of age) made up 42% of all patients. The proportion of elderly increased significantly faster over the years compared to younger patients. More than half of polytrauma (injury severity score ≥16) patients had fractures in multiple spine regions. 5,5% of all patients suffered spinal cord injury (SCI), most often associated with cervical fractures in polytrauma patients. Regional differences were found mainly in presentation through referral and low- and high-energy falls. CONCLUSION: The incidence of patients with spinal fractures increased and elderly made up a large part. Preventative measures could be regional dependent and should focus on low-energy falls, traffic accidents, and bicycle accidents in specific. In polytraumatized patients there should be special attention for any additional spine fractures and SCI.3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1639-1648
Number of pages10
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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