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Unfallchirurg. 2002 Feb;105(2):174-7.

[Cervical spine injuries in stable lower cervical spine with spinal stenosis].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Universit├Ątsklinik f├╝r Unfallchirurgie, Auenbruggerplatz, A-8036 Graz. franz.schweighofer@klinikum-graz.at

Abstract

The aim of the study was to investigate the neurological outcome of spinal cord injuries in the traumatized cervical spine with a stenosis of the spinal medullary canal. From 1992 to 1999 we treated 145 spinal cord injuries and/or injuries with an unstable cervical spine, 138 were treated operatively, in 7 patients we found an injury of the spinal cord with a stable cervical spine and a stenosis of the spinal medullary canal. The radiological diagnostics consisted of anterioposterior X-rays of the cervical spine, an X-ray view of the dens axis and a stress roentgenogramm in extension and flection. An MRI was performed within the first 12 hours after the accident. The stenosis of the spinal medullary canal was evaluated by the quotient of the mid-sagittal diameter of the spinal medullary canal as well as the vertebral body (Torg-quotient) and ranged from 0.5 to 0.8. Pathological changed values were found in 4 patients within 2 segments and in 3 patients within 3 segments. In the T2-turbospin echo sequence hyperintense lesions of the spinal cord, accordingly to an edema were found in 6 patients. The neurological evaluation was performed according to the "Standard Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injuries". Treatment of these 7 patients was performed conservatively, consisting of NSAR as well as Methyl-Prednisolon according to the pattern of NASCIS-II and III. The follow-up was performed after 12 to 18 months. We evaluated the X-rays in anterioposterior and lateral view, stress roentgenogramms and neurological status. Radiological findings showed stable conditions of the cervical spine with block vertebras and increased osteophytes. The neurological outcome was evaluated according to the "Motor-Score" and showed an improvement from 8 to 63 points within 13 months in one case. In 6 cases, the average "Motor-Score" of 78 increased to 100 points within 2 to 5 months after injury. Most defunctionalization symptoms were found in the upper extremities. Disturbances in fine motor movement were unable to be examined with the "Motor-Score". We can conclude that spinal cord injuries in stable cervical spines with stenosis of the spinal medullary canal can be treated conservatively with a good outcome. A regression of the neurological deficiency can be expected within 2 to 5 months, but even after one year, deficiency regression is possible.

PMID:
11968545
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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