Knife blade penetrating as a non-missile injury to the cervical spine through the face: A case report
Joseph Musowoya, Duncan D Mugala, Alick Mwambungu, Womba Kadochi, Nathan Siulapwa
Spinal cord stab injuries (SCSI) are rare traumatic lesions when compared to injuries caused by road traffic accidents, sport activities and guns. We report a case of a 31-year-old male who was hospitalized because of being stabbed on the face and the blade penetrated the cervical spine. This was a serious physical violence between two men fighting over a woman. On admission, the patient had left hemiplegia with loss of reflexes and loss of sensation. All cranial nerves were intact, the heart sounds were normal though the patient was unable to shrug his left shoulder. The knife in our patient was very close to the vertebral arteries and the Circle of Willis. However, the long knife was gently removed and no significant bleeding or leakage of the cerebrospinal fluid occurred. The patient was put on antibiotics to avoid infections. The initial management of SCI is crucial for protecting undamaged spinal cord from secondary effects and Surgery should be considered as the first-line treatment in cases of incomplete injuries of the spinal cord with retained metallic object. In spite of scientific progresses, it is still not possible yet to repair a damaged spinal cord.