Turkish Neurosurgery
Common Vertebral Fracture Level After the 2023 Turkey Earthquake, Thoracolumbar Junction, Due To Hyper-Flexed and Fixed Posture at Trıangle of Life Areas
Baran Can Alpergin1, Emre Bahir Mete1, Murat Zaimoglu1, Yusuf Sukru Caglar1, Ozgur Orhan1, Siavash Hasimoglu1, Umit Eroglu1
1Ankara University, Neurosurgery, Altındag/ANKARA,
DOI: 10.5137/1019-5149.JTN.44241-23.1

Aim:Thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) fractures are frequently encountered in spinal trauma occurring during earthquakes. This study aimed to assess the frequency of TLJ fractures (T10-L2) in survivors of the 2023 East Turkey earthquake.Material and Methods:Ten earthquake survivors, who were trapped under the rubble and rescued alive by rescue teams, were assessed for spinal trauma after the earthquake in Eastern Turkey on February 6, 2023. All patients underwent full spinal magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography examinations to determine the level of spinal fracture and decide the treatment methods.Results:All patients had sustained spinal fractures. Eight underwent surgery, while two were managed conservatively. Nine out of ten patients had TLJ fractures. Five patients had L1 fractures, four of them were treated surgically. Three patients had a T12 level fracture, two of whom were treated surgically. One patient with a T7-level fracture was treated surgically. Only one patient had multiple fractures (T12 and L2 levels) and was treated surgically.Conclusion:The TLJ was the commonest vertebral fracture level in the 2023 Turkey earthquake survivors. In the event of an earthquake, people tend to attain a fetal posture (fix and hyperflex the spine) when taking shelter in a narrow area (triangle of life). This position places an excessive load on the TLJ, predisposing it to injuries.

Corresponding author : Baran Can Alpergin