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Spinal Cord. 2012 Jan;50(1):78-80. doi: 10.1038/sc.2011.100. Epub 2011 Sep 13.

Neurological outcome, working capacity and prognostic factors of patients with SCIWORA.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective case review.

OBJECTIVES:

In the present study, the neurological outcome, retirement and prognostic factors of patients with spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality (SCIWORA) were evaluated.

SETTING:

Swiss national work accident insurance database.

METHODS:

The medical histories of 32 patients who were insured by the Swiss Accident Insurance Fund (SUVA) and had SCIWORA between 1995 and 2004 were evaluated thoroughly. Moreover, all available magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were evaluated.

RESULTS:

At the last follow-up, none of the patients had complete spinal cord injury, only 4 patients had severe deficits and 12 patients had normal motor and sensory function in the neurological examination. However, only 7 out of 32 patients had returned to full-time work and 10 out of 32 patients were fully retired. Both the presence of spinal cord change (ρ=0.51) and higher maximum spinal cord compression (ρ=0.57) in MRI scan correlated with the likelihood for retirement; older age (ρ=0.38) and physical load of work (ρ=0.4) correlated with retirement to a lesser extent.

CONCLUSION:

Although the neurological outcome of SCIWORA is mostly good, the retirement rate is high. Presence of spinal cord change and severity of cord compression are the best predictors for the degree of retirement.

PMID:
21912401
DOI:
10.1038/sc.2011.100
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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