Cervical stenosis in spinal cord injury and disorders

Stephen P. Burns, Frances Weaver, Amy Chin, Jelena Svircev, Laura Carbone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Context/Objective: The purpose of this study was to characterize etiologies of spinal cord injury and disorders (SCI/D) in persons with and without cervical stenosis/spondylosis (CSS) and to describe clinical characteristics and underlying comorbidities in these populations. Design and Setting: We reviewed administrative data for 1954 Veterans who had onset of traumatic or non-traumatic tetraplegia during FY 1999–2007. This included 1037 with a diagnosis of CSS at or in the two years prior to SCI onset of SCI/D and 917 without a diagnosis of CSS. Outcome Measures: Demographics, etiologies of SCI/D and comorbidities by CSS status. Results: Veterans with SCI/D and CSS were older, more likely to have incomplete injuries and more likely to be Black than those with SCI/D and no CSS. Of patients with traumatic etiologies for SCI, 35.1% had a diagnosis of CSS at the time of or in the 2 years prior to SCI onset. Of those with tetraplegia due to falls, 40.0% had CSS, whereas for other known traumatic etiologies the percentages with CSS were lower: vehicular (25.0%); sports (16.1%); and acts of violence (10.2%). Total comorbidity scores measured by the Charlson co morbidity index and CMS Hierarchical Condition Category (CMS-HCC) were higher in those with CSS and SCI/D compared to those with SCI/D without CSS (P < 0.0001 respectively). Conclusions: CSS is commonly present in patients with new traumatic tetraplegia. Falls are a particularly important potentially modifiable risk for SCI in patients with CSS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-475
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 3 2016


  • Cervical stenosis
  • Comorbidities
  • Falls
  • Registry
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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