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Fractures and musculoskeletal ailments in persons 20+ years after a traumatic spinal cord injury in Norway

Spinal Cord Series and Casesvolume 4, Article number: 76 (2018) | Download Citation


Study design

Cross-sectional study.


To gain insights into fracture rate and musculoskeletal ailments among Norwegians with a spinal cord injury (SCI) acquired more than 20 years ago.


Sunnaas Hospital, Nesoddtangen, Norway


165 persons with SCI were interviewed in 2004–2005 by questionnaires and clinical examination. Descriptive statistics and a logistic regression analysis were performed to identify variables associated with bone fractures and musculoskeletal ailments.


Around half of the participants experienced a fracture after injury and excessive use of alcohol increased the odds (OR 0.09; CI 0.01–0.74) of suffering a post-injury fracture (p = 0.03). Sixty percent experienced shoulder ailments after the SCI and the use of orthosis to the knee and hip increased the odds (OR 4.4; CI 1.4–13) of experiencing shoulder ailment (p = 0.01).


Around half of the 165 participants reported to have suffered a fracture and over 100 to experience musculoskeletal ailment 20 years after injury. We suggest that prevention strategies and symptom management must be embedded in follow-up visits after SCI.

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We want to thank the study participants, the Norwegian Association of the Disabled, Norwegian Association for Spinal Injuries, Norwegian Foundation for Health and Rehabilitation (EXTRA), the Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, Eastern Norway Health Authority (Helse Øst), and the QUOTA program for contributing financial support to the project.

Author information


  1. Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, Nesoddtangen, Norway

    • Vesna Miloshevska Jakimovska
    • , Emil Kostovski
    •  & Ingeborg Beate Lidal
  2. Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

    • Vesna Miloshevska Jakimovska
    • , Emil Kostovski
    •  & Fin Biering-Sørensen
  3. Clinic for Spinal Cord Injuries, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

    • Fin Biering-Sørensen


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Statements of ethics

We certify that all applicable institutional and governmental regulations concerning the ethical use of human volunteers were followed during the course of this research.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Vesna Miloshevska Jakimovska.

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