Somatosensory Evoked Potential Monitoring Useful

Technique may help prevent position-related peripheral nerve injuries in spinal surgery patients
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing lumbosacral spinal surgery, monitoring of upper-limb somatosensory evoked potential may help prevent position-related peripheral nerve injuries, according to a report published in the April issue of The Spine Journal.

Induk Chung, Ph.D., of the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, Ga., and colleagues monitored upper-limb somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP), lower-limb SSEP and electromyography in 230 patients aged 28 to 86.

The researchers found that there was a greater than or equal to 50 percent decrease in amplitude of ulnar SSEP in 10 patients but no significant changes in lower-limb SSEP or electromyography during surgery. Two patients had changes in bilateral limbs and eight in unilateral limbs. For those 10 patients, the average surgical time was 154 minutes, the report indicates.

"Correct positioning provides surgeons with good access to the surgical site, and can decrease potential nerve damage," the authors write. "Even with careful positioning, it is not uncommon that obese patients may still be at risk for upper arm compression, where the ulnar nerve or brachial plexus are at higher risk. In addition, the ulnar nerve exhibits higher sensitivity to stretch or compression compared with the median or radial nerve. Hence, despite efforts to position patients carefully with placement of an elbow pad and adequate perfusion of the upper extremities, postoperative ulnar neuropathy may still result."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events