Epidemiology and management of spinal cord injury in children and adolescents
Pediatric spinal cord injury (SCI) is a rare condition with significant long-term consequences affecting both children’s and their caregivers’ lives. Leading causes of pediatric SCI are motor vehicle accidents, falls and sport accidents. Patient assessment and management should be based in pediatric physiology and be adjusted to age. The maturity process brings up many unique challenges and complications such as scoliosis and hip dysplasia that have been reported to be common problems after sustaining a SCI in young age. Decreased mobility, autonomic dysreflexia, neurogenic bladder and neurogenic bowel have also all to be managed throughout the child’s growing and maturity process. Rehabilitation and management of pediatric SCI patients aims in facilitating independence to meet peer lifestyle and successful transfer into adulthood. The present study is a literature review aiming to summarize the current knowledge on the rehabilitation and management of the secondary complications of pediatric onset SCI. A literature research was performed using the PubMed and Google Scholar online data bases and the following key words: “spinal cord injury,” “pediatric”, “children”, “epidemiology”, “management” and “rehabilitation”. Following the PRISMA guidelines, 27 articles were finally included in this review. Caring for children or adolescents with SCI presents many unique secondary health complications and should be based on normal life milestones.
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