J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2014 Feb;49(1):50-57. 10.4055/jkoa.2014.49.1.50.

Neurologic and Functional Outcomes after Traumatic Central Cord Syndrome

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju, Korea. hmsohn@chosun.ac.kr


The purpose of this study was to determine the direction for treatment and to evaluate factors influencing improvement by comparison of neurologic and functional outcomes of surgical treatment and conservative treatment for traumatic central cord syndrome.
A total of 28 patients, who were available for follow-up for at least more than one year from January 2005 to December 2008, who were diagnosed as traumatic central cord syndrome were analyzed retrospectively. Fifteen patients underwent surgical treatment (group 1), and 13 patients received conservative treatment (group 2). Maximum canal compromise (MCC), and maximum spinal cord compression (MSCC) were used for radiologic assessment, and American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) motor score, Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score, and neck disability index (NDI) were used for assessment of functional outcomes.
The mean MCC was 47.2%, mean MSCC was 20.0%, and mean ASIA motor scale was 92.0 (group 1: 92.9, group 2: 90.9) at the final follow-up. The mean JOA score was 12.8 (group 1: 14.0, group 2: 11.4) and mean NDI was 25.0 (group 1: 25.7, group 2: 24.3) at the final follow-up.
It is concluded that if a patient with traumatic central cord syndrome is young, with a high energy injury combined with fractures, and has severe spinal compression and mild initial neurologic defect, early surgical treatment would be needed as soon as possible.


spinal cord injuries; central cord syndrome; cervical spine; treatment outcome
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