Chengyue Ji, Yuluo Rong, Hongyu Jia, Ning Yan, Tiesheng Hou, Yao Li, Weihua Cai, Shunzhi Yu

June 2021, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 1495 - 1500 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06703-1

First Online: 02 January 2021


This study aims to assess the nerve function deficient recovery in surgically treated patients with cervical trauma with spinal cord injury (SCI) in chronic stage and figure out prognostic predictors of improvement in impairment and function.


We reviewed the clinical and radiological data of 143 cervical SCI patients in chronic stage and divided into non-operative group (n = 61) and operative group (n = 82). The severity of neurological involvement was assessed using the ASIA motor score (AMS) and Functional Independence Measure Motor Score (FIM MS). The health-related quality of life was measured using the SF-36 questionnaire. Correspondence between the clinical and radiological findings and the neurological outcome was investigated.


At 2-year follow-up, surgery resulted in greater improvement in AMS and FIM MS than non-operative group. Regression analysis revealed that lower initial AMS (P = 0.000), longer duration after injury (P = 0.022) and injury above C4 level (P = 0.022) were factors predictive of lower final AMS. Longer duration (P = 0.020) and injury above C4 level (P = 0.010) were associated with a lower FIM MS. SF-36 scores were significantly lower in higher age (P = 0.015), female patients (P = 0.009) and patients with longer duration (P = 0.001).


It is reasonable to consider surgical decompression in patients with cervical SCI in chronic stage and persistent spinal cord compression and/or gross cervical instability. Initial AMS, longer duration, injury above C4 level, higher age and female patients are the five major relevant factors of functional recovery.

Read Full Article