Patients with degenerative diseases of the cervical spine, such as ossification of the posterior longitudi- nal ligament, spondylosis, and canal stenosis, sometimes present with acute spinal cord injury caused by minor trauma. However, the relative risk of cervical cord injury with these diseases is unknown. The clinical and radiological features of 94 elderly patients with head injury, 57 men and 37 women aged from 65 to 98 years (mean 76.6 years), were retrospectively analyzed to assess the association of spinal cord injury with degenerative cervical diseases. Degenerative cervical diseases were present in 25 patients, and spinal cord injury was more common in the patients with degenerative diseases (11/25 patients) than in the patients without such diseases (3/69 patients; relative risk 10.2). The incidence of degenerative cervical diseases seems to be increasing in Japan because life expectancy has increased and the elderly are a rapidly growing part of the population. A fall while walking or cycling is a com- mon mechanism of head injury and/or cervical cord injury in the elderly. To decrease the occurrence of cervical myelopathy, prevention by increasing social awareness and avoiding traffic accidents and falls is important.
- Canal stenosis
- Head injury
- Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament
- Spinal cord injury