Spectrum of neuromuscular injuries in victims of bomb blasts
Bomb blast (BB) injuries outside war zones were a rare phenomenon until recently. With the spreading wave of terrorism across the globe, BB related trauma is resurfacing. Explosions can produce unique patterns of neuromuscular injury. No recent data exists categorizing such injuries.
Medical records and electrodiagnostic findings of 20 patients with BB related neuromuscular injuries (NMI) were reviewed retrospectively.
Most common site of injury was the lower extremities (55%) with majority presenting clinically with foot drop (40%) or weakness (30%). 9/17 patients (45%) had associated shrapnel or penetrating trauma. 6/20 patients had associated fractures. The most common finding was of mononeuropathies.
As we re-enter an era of war, we need to recreate awareness of the possible spectrum of NMI. Awareness of such injuries will lead to early identification of nerve trauma and the possibility of reduction in overall disability if treated appropriately soon after the injury.