Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-cfpbc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-18T01:17:31.963Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

19 - Acute spinal cord compression

from Section 3 - Neurological emergencies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2013

Kaushal Shah
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
Jarone Lee
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Kamal Medlej
Affiliation:
American University of Beirut
Scott D. Weingart
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
Get access

Summary

This chapter discusses the diagnosis, evaluation and management of acute spinal cord compression. It presents special circumstances which make diagnosis and management of Cauda equina syndrome difficult. Spinal shock is characterized by a loss of spinal cord function below the level of the lesion. Cervical and thoracic level lesions may be associated with respiratory compromise. The spinal shock results in a disruption of sympathetic innervation causing unopposed parasympathetic tone, which may also cause hypotension and bradyarrhythmias (neurogenic shock). The spinal shock is characterized by flaccid paralysis and loss of bladder/bowel control. The diagnosis of acute spinal cord compression is suggested by history and physical examination, and confirmed by radiography or surgical intervention. Clinical presentations may vary depending on the level of neurological injury. The most likely causes for sudden decompensation in spinal cord include expansion of the ending lesion causing worsening neurological compromise or a high cervical/thoracic lesion.
Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×