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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 94-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1024 - 1031
1 Aug 2012
Rajasekaran S Kanna RM Shetty AP

The identification of the extent of neural damage in patients with acute or chronic spinal cord injury is imperative for the accurate prediction of neurological recovery. The changes in signal intensity shown on routine MRI sequences are of limited value for predicting functional outcome. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a novel radiological imaging technique which has the potential to identify intact nerve fibre tracts, and has been used to image the brain for a variety of conditions. DTI imaging of the spinal cord is currently only a research tool, but preliminary studies have shown that it holds considerable promise in predicting the severity of spinal cord injury.

This paper briefly reviews our current knowledge of this technique.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 89-B, Issue 4 | Pages 562 - 563
1 Apr 2007

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 88-B, Issue 10 | Pages 1351 - 1360
1 Oct 2006
Rajasekaran S Babu JN Dheenadhayalan J Shetty AP Sundararajan SR Kumar M Rajasabapathy S

Limb-injury severity scores are designed to assess orthopaedic and vascular injuries. In Gustilo type-IIIA and type-IIIB injuries they have poor sensitivity and specificity to predict salvage or outcome.

We have designed a trauma score to grade the severity of injury to the covering tissues, the bones and the functional tissues, grading the three components from one to five. Seven comorbid conditions known to influence the management and prognosis have been given a score of two each. The score was validated in 109 consecutive open injuries of the tibia, 42 type-IIIA and 67 type-IIIB. The total score was used to assess the possibilities of salvage and the outcome was measured by dividing the injuries into four groups according to their scores as follows: group I scored less than 5, group II 6 to 10, group III 11 to 15 and group IV 16 or more.

A score of 14 to indicate amputation had the highest sensitivity and specificity. Our trauma score compared favourably with the Mangled Extremity Severity score in sensitivity (98% and 99%), specificity (100% and 17%), positive predictive value (100% and 97.5%) and negative predictive value (70% and 50%), respectively. A receiver-operating characteristic curve constructed for 67 type-IIIB injuries to assess the efficiency of the scores to predict salvage, showed that the area under the curve for this score was better (0.988 (± 0.013 sem)) than the Mangled Extremity Severity score (0.938 (± 0.039 sem)). All limbs in group IV and one in group III underwent amputation. Of the salvaged limbs, there was a significant difference in the three groups for the requirement of a flap for wound cover, the time to union, the number of surgical procedures required, the total days as an in-patient and the incidence of deep infection (p < 0.001 for all). The individual scores for covering and functional tissues were also found to offer specific guidelines in the management of these complex injuries.

The scoring system was found to be simple in application and reliable in prognosis for both limb-salvage and outcome measures in type-IIIA and type-IIIB open injuries of the tibia.