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Surgery Safe for Patients with Spinal Cord Syndrome

Improves motor function and satisfaction in most patients with traumatic central cord syndrome

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Surgery rather than conservative treatment safely improves motor function in patients with traumatic central cord syndrome, with most patients reporting satisfaction with their final symptoms, according to an article in the January issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

Liang Chen, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from The First Affiliated Hospital of Suzhou University in China retrospectively assessed motor function and functional status in 49 surgically treated patients with traumatic central cord syndrome.

The investigators found significant improvement in the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale within the first six months of surgery that was positively correlated with age at injury. Factors such as type of lesion, timing of surgery and surgical approach were not associated with the final ASIA score. There was no significant correlation between the presence of spasticity or neuropathic pain at follow-up and final ASIA score, age, sex, or Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury score, the researchers report. The 36-Item Short Form Health Survey at six months and final follow-up indicated that about one-third of patients were dissatisfied with their final symptoms, the authors note.

"Surgical intervention can be safely applied in patients with traumatic central cord syndrome," Chen and colleagues conclude.

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