Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries in Gold Miners in Mali: Preliminary Study on 76 Cases

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DOI: 10.4236/wjns.2019.93014    746 Downloads   2,036 Views  


Introduction: Gold panning is the research and artisanal exploitation of gold in the auriferous areas (rivers or others). Traumatisms arising from these activities are due to severe spinal cord injury and generally affect young people in full activity. They constitute a real social handicap in Mali and even in Africa. The aim of our study is to share our expertise in the management of these vertebro-medullary traumasin these miners who currently escape to all controls in Mali. Material and Methods: From 2013 to 2016, 76 Traumatic Spine Cord Injuries (TSCI) were treated in the department of Neurosurgery of “Hôpital du Mali”. There were 73 males (96.05%) versus 03 Females (3.95%), aged between 21 - 43 years old. Results: All of our patients were admitted with deficit differing from paraparesis to tetraplegia. According to Frankel scale, we found 59 patients with complete deficits (A grade, 77.63%), and incomplete deficits in 17 cases (12 grade B, 04 grade C, 01 grade D). The X-ray standard radiographies were done in 24 cases (31.58%) from which 02 patients had been operated with these data. CT scan centered on the injured spinal segment was performed in 74 cases (97.37%). The lumbar spine was affected in 39 cases, followed by thoracolumbar junction in 19 cases and thoracic spine in 16 cases. The cervical spine was only interested in two cases. Fractures dislocations are the most frequently lesions encountered in our series. The surgical approach was performed in 74 patients and 02 patients received conservative treatment. Conclusion: Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries (TSCI) among miners are a real disaster in Mali and continue to plague thousands of families or increase the number of disabled people in our society. It is the only work, where the person concerned is making of his own grave. And according to witnesses, several miners remained at the bottom of the wells. Their prevention must first involve users by raising the awareness of local residents and traditional therapists, but also the country that must participate in regional development and ensure strict enforcement of regulatory measures. Our structure must have enough resources to acquire and treat these patients at any time.

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Coulibaly, O. , Dama, M. , Diallo, O. , Sissoko, D. , Sogoba, B. , Alpha, S. , Sogoba, Y. and Kanikomo, D. (2019) Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries in Gold Miners in Mali: Preliminary Study on 76 Cases. World Journal of Neuroscience, 9, 208-215. doi: 10.4236/wjns.2019.93014.

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