Risk of Neurologic Deficit Right After Spinal Surgery Low

Study finds epidural hematoma and inadequate decompression to be the most common etiologies
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The likelihood of developing a major neurologic deficit immediately after spinal surgery is low, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

Dennis E. Cramer, D.O., and colleagues from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, reviewed data from 11,817 adult spinal operations over a 10-year period to examine the incidence of major neurologic deficit immediately after surgery.

The researchers found that 21 patients (0.178 percent) had new onset major deficit immediately after surgery. Deficits were more common after surgery on the thoracic spine, followed by the cervical spine and the lumbar/sacral spine. The most common reasons for the deficits were epidural hematoma and inadequate decompression. The 57.1 percent of patients with placement of spinal instrumentation were at higher risk of developing a major neurologic deficit immediately after surgery.

"The incidence of new onset major neurologic deficit immediately after adult spinal surgery is low," the authors conclude. "Epidural hematoma and inadequate decompression were the most common etiologies in this series of patients."

The study was supported by grants from Synthes Spine and Medtronic Sofamor Danek.

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