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Subaxial (C3-C7) cervical spine injuries : Comparison of early and late surgical intervention

Author(s): Vashdev Chandwani | BK Ojha | Anil Chandra | Mohammad Kaif | Vishwanath GU

Journal: Indian Journal of Neurotrauma
ISSN 0973-0508

Volume: 7;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 145;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: cervical vertebrae | neurologic manifestations | quadriplegia | spinal cord injuries

This study was carried out to determine whether the timing of surgery affects neurological outcome in patients with subaxial cervical spine trauma. We studied 41 patients with a fracture and/or fracture-dislocation of C3 to C7 cervical vertebrae who were treated operatively during the period January 2004 to June 2009. Surgery was performed as soon as the patient’s medical condition allowed, within 2 weeks of trauma in 20 patients and after 2 weeks of the injury in 21 patients. Outcome was assessed using Frankel grading. In both groups only those patients who had incomplete spinal cord injury showed neurological improvement after surgery. There was no statistically significant difference in final neurological outcomes in patients having early as opposed to delayed surgery. Similarly there was no statistically significant difference in two groups based on level of injury and associated cord injury. Surgical intervention for cervical injuries is safe, as no postoperative neurological deterioration was recorded. Timing of surgery does not affect neurological outcome.
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