Gender Differences in Spinal Injuries: Causes and Location of Injury

Eliezer Sidon*, Michael Stein, Ganesh Ramalingam, Shai Shemesh, Daniel Benharroch, Nissim Ohana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Spinal injury is common in trauma suffered by both men and women. A lesser degree of involvement of females with spinal trauma, or at least, the different nature of such injuries, has been suggested. It has been proposed that behavioral and structural characteristics may explain the differential type and severity of spinal injuries in women. We carried out this study to find women-specific divergences in spinal traumatic lesions, including suspected mechanisms for their generation. Methods: All patients with spinal injury, documented by the Trauma Registry at our Medical Center and using the AIS code 65XXXX.X for spinal fractures and dislocations, were evaluated. The women-associated analysis included data related to: Type of spinal lesion, area affected, possible mechanisms, associated damage, surgical procedures, and complications. Male-related data were collected for comparison. Results: Between 2006 and 2010, 546 patients with traumatic spine injuries were documented. Of those, 30.6% were women (F:M-168:378). Average age was 43.5 years (women: 49.6 years and men: 40.1 years). Regarding the mechanisms of injury, women with spinal injuries were susceptible to falls from a standing position or had attempted suicide. However, men with similar lesions had a tendency to be more involved in motorcycle accidents or falls from height. Women involved in motor vehicle crashes showed statistically more significant lumbar spine lesions, whereas men in the same situation developed mainly cervical spine damage to a significant level. Conclusions: The characteristics of spinal injury in women, as opposed to men, stand out as divergent. The mechanisms of trauma and the site of injury differ significantly. We suggest this variance may be due, in part, to skeletal and muscular structure dissimilarity in women and in part to the spinal kinematics attending each group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-951
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Volume27
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Women
  • cervical spine
  • lumbar spine
  • spine
  • trauma
  • variance

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