Do acute SCI patients see better outcomes if undergoing surgery within 1st 4 hours?

Researches in Germany studied whether time of surgery impacted neurological outcomes for patients with acute spinal cord injury, according to Journal of Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management.

Specifically, they analyzed 51 spinal cord injury patients, aged an average of 43.4 years. The patients had acute spinal fractures from C2 to L3 or nonosseous lesions.

The researchers examined the impact of 29 patients undergoing early stabilization and decompression (within the first four hours of injury), compared to 22 patients undergoing late stabilization and decompression (between four hours and 24 hours after injury). They used the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale grades at admission time and six months post-injury.

Here are three insights:

1. The study did not reveal a major difference in neurological function improvements between the early surgery and late surgery groups.

2. The researchers concluded early surgery for spinal cord injury patients does not present enhanced outcomes over late surgery, between four hours and 24 hours after the injury.

3. Further, the study implied patients with acute spinal cord injury will likely receive the best outcomes if undergoing surgery within the first 24 hours post-injury.

Written by Megan Wood

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