There is accumulating evidence of a potential beneficial effect of early surgical intervention after acute cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). However, around one third of all SCIs affect the thoracic spine. This cohort has not been extensively investigated, mainly because of less sensitive clinical readout measures. Apart from regaining full sensorimotor function, improvements in bladder and bowel management remain of the highest priority for patients with chronic paraplegia. Therefore, this study investigates the effect of early decompression (here defined as <8 hours) versus delayed management on neurologic and functional outcome.
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