Current recommendations support early surgical decompression and blood pressure augmentation after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). Elevated intraspinal pressure (ISP), however, has probably been underestimated in the pathophysiology of SCI. Recent studies provide some evidence that ISP measurements and durotomy may be beneficial for individuals suffering from SCI. Compression of the spinal cord against the meninges in SCI patients causes a "compartment-like" syndrome. In such cases, intentional durotomy with augmentative duroplasty to reduce ISP and improve spinal cord perfusion pressure (SCPP) may be indicated. Prior to performing these procedures routinely, profound knowledge of the spinal meninges is essential. Here, we provide an in-depth review of relevant literature along with neuroanatomical illustrations and imaging correlates.
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