Gregory D. Schroeder, Christopher K. Kepler, Nik Hjelm, Alexander R. Vaccaro, Michael S. Weinstein

April 2015, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 985 - 989 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-015-3865-6

First Online: 08 March 2015


To compare early changes in the ASIA Motor Score (AMS) between patients with central cord syndrome (CCS) from an acute fracture to patients without a fracture.


Patients with CCS were identified and stratified based on the presence of a fracture. The AMS through the first week of the patients’ hospitalization was obtained. Initial injury severity as well as early neurologic recovery was measured using the AMS. Analysis of variance was performed to determine if age, gender, rectal tone at presentation, congenital stenosis, or surgery within 24 h significantly effected the change in AMS.


A strong trend (p = 0.0504) towards a more severe initial neurologic injury in patients with a fracture (AMS 59.7) than in patients without a fracture (AMS 70.2) was identified. However, in the week after injury, patients with a fracture had an improvement in their neurologic function (ΔAMS +4.8) while patients without a fracture demonstrated neurologic decline (ΔAMS −5.9). The change in AMS between patients with and without a fracture was nearly significant (p = 0.06).


Patients with central cord syndrome present with similar symptoms, but injuries with and without a fracture may be associated with a different early neurologic recovery. Patients with a fracture have a more severe injury at initial presentation, but tend to have neurologic improvement in the first week; conversely patients without a fracture have a less severe initial neurologic injury, but tend to have a slight decline in neurologic function over the first week.

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