What is the role of physical therapy in the treatment of central cord syndrome (CCS)?

Updated: May 21, 2020
  • Author: Michelle J Alpert, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Answer

The focus of physical therapy in central cord syndrome (CCS) is the preservation of range of motion (ROM) and the enhancement of mobility skills. [8] The strengthening of any preserved lower extremity musculature is essential, as are trunk balance and stabilization. Safe transfer and wheelchair mobility are other goals to be accomplished prior to the initiation of gait training. Patients with CCS offer a unique challenge for the physical therapist with regard to ambulation and gait training. [24] Despite the usual preservation of some lower extremity strength, upper extremity deficits can limit the use of possible assistive devices and, ultimately, the functional quality of ambulation. For example, platform walkers are often used to compensate for deficient hand strength, although walking with this assistive device is frequently of limited functional value.


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