Clinical outcome of closed reduction of cervical spine injuries in a cohort of Nigerians.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Study design

A prospective observational study.


To evaluate the effectiveness of closed reduction of cervical spine injuries (CSIs) using cervical traction and identify probable complications.


Department of Neurological Surgery, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.


Consecutive CSIs managed by closed reduction using Gardener-Well's Tongs traction were prospectively analysed. The data included imaging and neurological examinations findings, Frankel grading, and extent of reduction. Reduction of 95% or more was deemed satisfactory. The primary outcome measures were extent/degree of reduction and neurologic status classified as improved, same, or worse. Other complications were taken as secondary outcome measures.


Seventy-four patients, 49 males, mean age 35.2 years (SD 9.7) were included. In all, 78.4% presented within 72 hours of injury. In total, 85.1% had road traffic crashes. Anterior subluxation was seen in 86.5%. The degree of displacement was <25% in 36/74 (48.6%), 25-50% in 19/74 (25.7%), 50-75% in 8/74 (10.8%), and >75% in 11/74 (14.9%). Traction reduction was done after 7 days of injury in 52.7% and same day of injury in 1.4%. Reduction weight ranged from 2 kg to 60 kg. Reduction was satisfactory in 67.6% and failed in 32.4%. In all, 81.1% of patients remained neurologically the same, while 18.9% improved. Causes of failed reduction were facet lock (15), old injury (8), new-onset/worsening pain (3), and over-distraction (2). Complications of closed reduction were over-distraction (5), tong pull-out (2), new-onset/worsening pain (2), and skull perforation (1).


Satisfactory closed reduction is feasible in patients with CSI and significant malalignment. The method is associated with few complications.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Adeolu, AA; Ukachukwu, A-EK; Adeolu, JO; Adeleye, AO; Ogbole, GI; Malomo, AO; Shokunbi, MT

Published Date

  • January 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 /

Start / End Page

  • 17 -

PubMed ID

  • 30774987

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6372639

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2058-6124

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2058-6124

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41394-019-0158-z


  • eng