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Spinal cord trauma in children


A series of spinal cord injuries in children less than 13 years of age has been presented. The seven children were admitted to the Spinal Injuries Centre for Victoria between April 1968 and July 1969.

A common clinical feature of the patients was that vertebral injury was minimal or absent. A review of the literature revealed a paucity of information on the pathology of this syndrome.

It is postulated that the elastic, cartilaginous spine of a young child may be grossly distorted by a flexion/rotation force, but does not disrupt through its inherent elasticity. The spinal cord, however, is unable to withstand such stretching forces, and a longitudinal injury of the spinal cord may result.

The life expectation of these young patients is also discussed in the light of their good bladder function and sterile urine a short time after injury.


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Burke, D. Spinal cord trauma in children. Spinal Cord 9, 1–14 (1971).

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