Epidemiology of Spinal Fractures in a Level One Trauma Center in the Netherlands: A 10 Years Review

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Study Design.Retrospective epidemiological study.Objective.To describe the epidemiology of spinal fractures over a 10 years period in a level one trauma center in the Netherlands.Summary of Background Data.Spinal fractures may have large socioeconomic consequences. The prevalence and outcomes likely change over the years owing to improved traffic safety, increasing population age and improved medical treatment. This is the first study to address the epidemiology of spinal fractures over a large period in the Netherlands.Methods.All patients with a cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine fracture admitted to a level one trauma center from 2007 to 2016 were prospective registered and retrospectively analyzed. In addition to patient, accident, and associated injury characteristics, radiological and surgery data were obtained from the hospital's Electronic Patient File system.Results.Between 2007 and 2016, 1479 patients with a total of 3029 spinal fractures were admitted. Approximately 40.8% were female and 59.2% were male, with a mean age of 52.0 years; 4.9% of fractures occurred at a juvenile age (0-18 years) and 63.6% at the age of 19 to 64 years. Most fractures occurred in the thoracic spine, followed by the lumbar and cervical spine. The most common cause of injury was a fall from height, followed by traffic accidents. Spinal cord injury occurred in 8.5% and associated injuries were reported in 73% of the patients. Sixteen percent of the admitted patients were treated operatively. Over time, there was a larger increase in amount of spine fractures in elderly (≥65 years) compared with younger people.Conclusion.The total amount of spine fractures per year increased over time. In addition, there was a larger increase in amount of spine fractures in patients over 65 years of age compared with younger patients. Despite this increase, a considerable amount of spine fractures still occur in the age-group of 19 to 64 years. Most fractures were located in the thoracic spine. This study might stimulate development of policy on precautionary actions to prevent spine fractures.Level of Evidence: 4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-739
Number of pages8
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019


  • associated injury
  • epidemiology
  • falls
  • mechanism of injury
  • prevalence
  • spinal fracture
  • spinal injury
  • surgery
  • the Netherlands

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