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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 158-165

Early versus delayed decompression in acute subaxial cervical spinal cord injury: A prospective outcome study at a Level I trauma center from India

1 Department of Neurosurgery, JPN Apex Trauma Centre, All Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Anesthesiology, JPN Apex Trauma Centre, All Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Radiodiagnosis, JPN Apex Trauma Centre, All Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Deepak Kumar Gupta
Additional Professor Neurosurgery, Room No: 308, JPN Apex Trauma Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: Nil, Conflict of Interest: None declared.

DOI: 10.4103/1793-5482.161193

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Aims: This study was done with the aim to compare the clinical outcome and patients’ quality of life between early versus delayed surgically treated patients of acute subaxial cervical spinal cord injury. The current study was based on the hypothesis that early surgical decompression and fixations in acute subaxial cervical spinal cord trauma is safe and is associated with improved outcome as compared to delayed surgical decompression. Materials and Methods: A total of 69 patients were recruited and divided into early decompression surgery Group A (operated within 48 h of trauma; n = 23) and late/delayed decompression surgery Group B (operated between 48 h and 7 days of trauma; n = 46). The patients in both groups were followed up, and comparative differences noted in the neurological outcome, quality of life, and bony fusion. Results: The early surgery group spent lesser days in the intensive care unit and hospital (Group A 28.6 vs. Group B 35 days) had lesser postoperative complications (Group A 43% vs. Group B 61%) and a reduced mortality (Group A 30% vs. Group B 45%). In Group A, 38% patients had 1 American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) grade improvement while 31% experienced >2 ASIA grade improvement. In Group B, the neurological improvement was 27% and 32%, respectively (P = 0.7). There was a significant improvement in the postoperative quality of life scores in both groups. Conclusion: Early surgery in patients with acute subaxial cervical spine injury should be considered strongly in view of the lesser complications, early discharge, and reduced mortality.

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