Spinal-cord injuries among U.S. adults who are aged over 70 years have an increased five-fold in the past 30 years, as compared with younger spinal-cord-injury patients.
Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Jefferson’s Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center of the Delaware Valley in Philadelphia say spinal-cord injuries in older patients have increased 60 percent since the early 1980s, but geriatric spinal-cord-injury admissions have increased more than 580 percent during that same time period.
The findings were presented at the Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in Phoenix.
Falls continue to be the main reason — 74 percent — for geriatric spinal-cord injuries, according to study investigator Dr. James Harrop of the university.
Geriatric patients with spinal-cord injuries are less likely to have severe neurological deficits but are more likely to die, Harrop said.