Spinal Column Injuries Among Americans in the Global War on Terrorism
ARMY INST OF SURGICAL RESEARCH FORT SAM HOUSTON TX
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Recent data have demonstrated that spinal injuries are among the most disabling conditions affecting wounded service members, paralleling similar reports of civilian spinal injuries. The nature of spinal wounds in the present conflict remains incompletely explored. Relatively few publications have addressed this topic, and the information available is largely derived from the records of individual hospitals or specific military units. The information that is available seems to indicate that the incidence of combat-related spinal injuries is on the rise, and currently is at the highest level in American military medical history. This investigation sought to characterize the incidence and epidemiology of spinal injuries sustained by American service members in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, using the Joint Theater Trauma Registry. The registry captures data for most U.S. military personnel injured within a combat zone and, therefore, markedly decreases the potential for selection bias that arises when injuries seen at specific hospitals, or individual units, within a theater of operations are considered. To our knowledge, no other investigation has sought to describe the incidence and epidemiology of traumatic spinal column injuries sustained by American military personnel during the Global War on Terrorism, or for any previous conflict.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Military Forces and Organizations