J Korean Neurosurg Soc.  2023 Jan;66(1):6-11. 10.3340/jkns.2022.0107.

Early Decompression in Acute Spinal Cord Injury : Review and Update

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience & Radiosurgery Hybrid Research Center, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Inje University, Goyang, Korea
  • 2Department of Neurosurgery, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Bucheon, Korea


Spinal cord injury (SCI) has a significant negative effect on the quality of life due to permanent neurologic damage and economic burden by continuous treatment and rehabilitation. However, determining the correct approach to ensure optimal clinical outcomes can be challenging and remains highly controversial. In particular, with the introduction of the concept of early decompression in brain pathology, the discussion of the timing of decompression in SCI has emerged. In addition to that, the concept of “time is spine” has been added recently, and the mortality and complications caused by SCI have been reduced by providing timely and professional treatment to patients. However, there are many difficulties in establishing international clinical guidelines for the timing of early decompression in SCI because policies for each country and medical institution differ according to the circumstances of medical infrastructure and economic conditions in the surgical treatment of SCI. Therefore, we aim to provide a current review of timing of early decompression in patient with SCI.


Spinal cord injuries; Surgical decompression, early; Timing



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