Background: Characteristics of Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc (PID) in Africa, reports are scanty and
Objectives: To evaluate the distribution of PID by location, age, gender and predisposing factors among
African patients at our hospital, the largest regional referral and teaching hospital in Kenya.
Patients and Methods: Six hundred and three cases (267 males, 336 females) of prolapsed intervertebral
disc over 11 years between January 1997 and December 2007 were analyzed for location, number of
prolapsed disks, gender, age and predisposing conditions.
Results: Of the determined locations L4/5 was the commonest (42.3%), followed by L5/S1 (25.5%).
Seventy seven (20.9%) of the patients had multiple prolapsed disks. 1.4% were in the cervical region,
and only one in the thoracic. PID was commonest in the 31 – 50 year age group females (M: F is 1:1.26,
p=0.00), with mean age 40.90+13.80 years, (range between 11- 85 years).
Conclusions: PID in Kenya is commonest in the lower lumbar region of young people more in females
and is associated with trauma.