Surgery for acute subaxial traumatic central cord syndrome without fracture or dislocation.

Research paper by Joonsuk J Song, Junichi J Mizuno, Hiroshi H Nakagawa, Tatsushi T Inoue

Indexed on: 01 Jun '05Published on: 01 Jun '05Published in: Journal of Clinical Neuroscience


Twenty-two patients with subaxial acute traumatic central cord syndrome (CCS) without fracture or dislocation who underwent surgery between 1995 and 2002 were reviewed, retrospectively. There were 13 males and nine females ranging in age from 24 to 84 years (mean 61.2). Falls were the most common injury (68%), followed by motor vehicle accidents (32%). All patients had dynamic cervical lateral radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Cord compression was present in all cases and cervical instability in 11. Associated pathology included disc herniation in seven patients, cervical spondylosis (CS) in 11 and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) in four. Anterior decompression and fusion was performed in 12 patients with 1- or 2-level lesions. Posterior decompression and fusion was performed for multilevel lesions in 11 patients, including one patient who required re-operation. The interval between injury and surgery ranged from 1 to 37 days (mean 8.0). Postoperatively, all patients improved clinically. We conclude that surgical management of subaxial acute traumatic CCS without fracture or dislocation improved neurological status and prevented delayed neurological deterioration in our patients.