What is the initial approach to spinal cord injury (SCI) treatment?

Updated: Nov 01, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence S Chin, MD, FACS, FAANS; Chief Editor: Brian H Kopell, MD  more...
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Admit all patients with an acute spinal cord injury (SCI). Depending on the level of neurologic deficit and associated injuries, the patient may require admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), neurosurgical observation unit, or general ward.

The most common levels of injury on admission are C4, C5 (the most common), and C6, whereas the level for paraplegia is the thoracolumbar junction (T12). The most common type of injury on admission is American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) level A (see Neurologic level and extent of injury under Clinical).

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