Ann Rehabil Med.  2017 Jun;41(3):354-361. 10.5535/arm.2017.41.3.354.

Effects of Early Cranioplasty on the Restoration of Cognitive and Functional Impairments

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Nanobiomedical Science & WCU Research Center, Dankook University, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 3Institute of Tissue Regeneration Engineering (ITREN), Dankook University, Cheonan, Korea.


To delineate the effect of early cranioplasty on the recovery of cognitive and functional impairments in patients who received decompressive craniectomy after traumatic brain injury or spontaneous cerebral hemorrhage.
Twenty-four patients who had received cranioplasty were selected and divided according to the period from decompressive craniectomy to cranioplasty into early (≤90 days) and late (>90 days) groups. The Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE), Korean version of the Modified Barthel Index (K-MBI), and Functional Independence Measure (FIM) were evaluated at admission just after decompressive craniectomy and during the follow-up period after cranioplasty.
Twelve patients were included in the early group, and another 13 patients were included in the late group. The age, gender, type of lesion, and initial K-MMSE, K-MBI, and FIM did not significantly differ between two groups. However, the total gain scores of the K-MMSE and FIM in the early group (4.50±7.49 and 9.42±15.96, respectively) increased more than those in the late group (−1.08±3.65 and −0.17±17.86, respectively), and some of K-MMSE subscores (orientation and language) and FIM subcategories (self-care and transfer-locomotion) in the early group increased significantly when compared to those in the late group without any serious complications. We also found that the time to perform a cranioplasty was weakly, negatively correlated with the K-MMSE gain score (r=−0.560).
Early cranioplasty might be helpful in restoring cognitive and functional impairments, especially orientation, language ability, self-care ability, and mobility in patients with traumatic brain injury or spontaneous cerebral hemorrhage.


Decompressive craniectomy; Stroke; Traumatic brain injuries; Cognition; Recovery of function
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