Penetrating spinal cord injury causing paraplegia in a bird hunter in rural Tanzania

Daniƫl Cornelis van Adrichem, Marit Rianne Helmine Angelique Ratering, Sakina Mehboob Rashid, Mubashir Alavi Jusabani, Vanessa Eddie Poppe, Himidi Asegelisye Mwaitele, Honest Herman Massawe, William Patrick Howlett, Haleluya Imanueli Moshi & Marieke Cornelia Johanna Dekker
Publication year: 


Cultural and socioeconomic factors influence the risk of sustaining a Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury (TSCI). The standard of management and rehabilitation available to TSCI patients differs greatly between high-income and low-income countries.

Case presentation

We report a 17-year-old male bird hunter, with no prior medical history, presenting with paraplegia and sensory loss from the xiphoid process down after being struck by an arrow in the left lateral side of the neck.


Penetrating neck injuries are potentially life threatening because of the complex arrangement of vital structures in the neck. Management of spinal cord trauma resulting from such injuries in low-resource settings is challenging.