What are the signs of neurologic deterioration in spinal cord injury (SCI)?

Updated: Nov 01, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence S Chin, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Brian H Kopell, MD  more...
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Answer

The neurologic deficit of spinal cord injury (SCI) often increases during the hours to days following acute injury, despite optimal treatment.

One of the first signs of neurologic deterioration is the extension of the sensory deficit cephalad. Careful repeat neurologic examination may reveal that the sensory level has risen 1 or 2 segments. Repeat neurologic examinations to check for progression are essential.


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