Category: Spinal Cord Injury | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 22, 2017
According to a recent analysis of health insurance claims, Minnesotans suffer a disproportionate number of spine dislocations. A spine dislocation wasn’t the most common reason Minnesotans visited a medical facility in the last few years – that honor went to “cuts and bruises” – but the data shows that spine dislocation is the most disproportionate injury in the state compared to other injuries.
Spine Injury Statistics
To come to this conclusion, researchers examined more than 244 million insurance injury claims across the nation between 2012 and 2016. They then sorted the more than 3,000 different medical codes into identifiable types of injuries. Researchers were able to track everything from spine dislocations and insect bite injuries to animal-drawn vehicle accidents and broken ankles.
Since they analyzed so many different injuries, researchers came across a wide variety of maladies.
“Due to the sheer number of categories, no single injury accounts for more than 7-8% of all diagnoses related to physical injuries,” said Olivia Marcus, a communications staffer at Amino, the data company who conducted the study. “Still, we found that the most common injuries don’t vary a lot across the county.”
Disproportionate Number of Dislocations
However, the data didn’t just look at the most common injuries. Amino was interested in learning which types of injury are particularly distinct for each state. To do this, the company compared the number of injuries each state reported to the national frequency for that particular injury.
“That allowed us to determine which injuries were disproportionately more or less common in each state, compared to the nation as a whole,” said Marcus. “Here’s an example. Injuries related to motor vehicle accidents make up 1.5% of all physical injury diagnoses in the United States. But in Tennessee, they make up 3.5% – that’s 1.6 times more common than the national distribution.”
Researchers found that spine dislocation was the most disproportionately common physical injury in Minnesota, and we weren’t alone. Our neighbors to the south and east – Iowa and Wisconsin – also listed spine dislocations as their most disproportionate injury, as did New Hampshire and Washington.
Minnesota Back Pain
The findings didn’t report the rate at which Minnesotans suffered spinal dislocations, nor did it discuss why they occurred more frequently in Minnesota, but spinal dislocations are typically caused by high-impact trauma. Events like falls, sports activities and motor vehicle accidents all contribute to spinal dislocations. All five states with disproportionate amounts of spinal dislocations experience all four seasons, meaning they are subject to less-than-ideal driving conditions throughout the year, and they all have high rates of sports involvement. It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise than Minnesotans experience a higher rate of spinal dislocations than other states, and it suggests that we should continue to work hard to improve the quality of spine care treatment in Minnesota and across the US.