Spinal Injuries of the Elderly

  • Christopher D. Witiw
  • Laureen D. Hachem
  • Michael G. FehlingsEmail author


With this chapter, we aim to provide an up-to-date review of the relevant considerations for spinal neurosurgeons involved with the management of an elderly individual following traumatic injury to the spine. The first two sections focus on the features of traumatic injury and management considerations that differ between the elderly population and those in younger cohorts. The three subsequent sections deal with specific injuries common to the elderly, namely, odontoid fractures, traumatic central cord syndrome (TCCS), and vertebral compression fractures (VCRs). The final section concludes with a synopsis of the available evidence pertaining to the outcomes of elderly individuals. Common decision-making challenges will be highlighted, and areas of ongoing controversy are discussed. This should serve to raise awareness of certain pitfalls and facilitate appraisal of the continuing influx of new clinical data in this increasingly relevant and ever-changing area of spinal neurosurgery.


Spinal Cord Injury Vertebral Compression Fracture Functional Independence Measure American Spinal Injury Association Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher D. Witiw
    • 1
  • Laureen D. Hachem
    • 2
  • Michael G. Fehlings
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Neurosurgery, Department of SurgeryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Head Spinal Program, McEwen Centre for Regenerative MedicineToronto Western Hospital, University Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of Surgery, Halbert Chair in Neural Repair and RegenerationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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