A historical study of appendicular fractures in veterans with traumatic chronic spinal cord injury: 2002–2007

Monique Bethel, Lauren Bailey, Frances Weaver, Robert L. Harmon, Michael M. Priebe, Brian Le, Hammad Aslam, Zachary Fausel, Helen Hoenig, Laura D. Carbone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: Describe the incidence and distribution of appendicular fractures in a cohort of veterans with spinal cord injury (SCI). Design: Retrospective, observational study of fractures in veterans with a chronic traumatic SCI. Setting: The Veterans Health Administration (VA) healthcare system. Participants: Veterans included in the VA Spinal Cord Dysfunction Registry from Fiscal Years (FY) FY2002–FY2007. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Description of fractures by site and number. Mortality at one year following incident fracture among men with single vs. multiple fractures. Results: Male and female veterans sustained incident fractures with similar observed frequency (10.5% vs 11.5%). The majority of fractures occurred in the lower extremities for both men and women. In men, a complete extent of injury (compared to incomplete) was associated with 41% greater relative risk (RR) of incident fracture (RR 1.41, 95% confidence interval [1.17, 1.70]) among those with tetraplegia, but not paraplegia. Furthermore, many men (33.9%, n = 434) sustained multiple fractures over the course of the study. There were no differences in mortality between men who sustained a single fracture and those who had multiple fractures. Conclusions: The extent of injury may be an important predictor of fracture risk for male veterans with tetraplegia. Once a fracture occurs, male veterans with SCI appear to be at high risk for additional fractures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-692
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Bone fractures
  • Epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'A historical study of appendicular fractures in veterans with traumatic chronic spinal cord injury: 2002–2007'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this