Traumatic Disorders: Surgical Treatment of Myelopathy Secondary to Trauma
More than 2.1 million Americans sustain accident-related injuries each year. Approximately 10% of these patients die and 11,000–15,000 of them are left with spinal cord injuries. Since the 1990s there has been increased focus on facilitating the neurological recovery of these patients through both surgical and pharmaceutical intervention. As a result of these efforts, numerous guidelines and technical notes have been published describing the proper treatment algorithm for these patients, as well as the most efficacious techniques for patient who have the potential to benefit from operative management. The goal of this chapter is to describe the various presentations of spinal cord injury, present the current guidelines for the treatment of spinal cord injury, and describe the various techniques that may be employed in the operative management of patients with spinal cord injury.