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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1989 Aug;14(8):799-802.

Significance of acute posttraumatic bony encroachment of the neural canal.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin, Clinical Science Center, Madison.


Neurologic status (NS) of 80 consecutive patients with acute, traumatic thoracic, thoracolumbar, or lumbar fractures was correlated with the amount of neural canal impingement (NCI) demonstrated by computerized axial tomography (CT). Average NCI was significantly higher in the 34 patients with neurologic deficits, but the range of NCI was similar to that observed in the 46 patients with no deficits. Burst fractures and fractures in the lumbar spine had the highest average NCI but the lowest percentage of patients with neurologic deficits. The immediate, posttraumatic NS of the 80 patients studied did not directly correlate with the percent of NCI demonstrated on their CT scans.

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