Spinal cord compression surgery

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Spinal Cord Compression Microchapters


Patient Information




Differentiating Spinal Cord Compression from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors

Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings

X Ray




Medical Therapy


Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Spinal cord compression surgery On the Web

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Most cited articles

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Ongoing Trials at Clinical Trials.gov

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FDA on Spinal cord compression surgery

CDC on Spinal cord compression surgery

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Blogs on Spinal cord compression surgery

Directions to Hospitals Treating Spinal cord compression

Risk calculators and risk factors for Spinal cord compression surgery

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] ; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Aditya Ganti M.B.B.S. [2]


Surgery is the mainstay of treatment in localised compression. Emergency radiation therapy (usually 20 Gray in 5 fractions) is the mainstay of treatment for malignant spinal cord compression. It is very effective as pain control and local disease control. Some tumors are highly sensitive to chemotherapy (e.g. lymphomas, small cell lung cancer) and may be treated with chemotherapy alone.


All the patients with acute spinal cord compression must be admitted. The mainstay of treatment includes surgery for most of the cases except for compression caused by metastasis. The treatment in such cases is mostly palliative. Antibiotics are indicated in cases of compression caused by an epidural abscess.[1][2]

Cause of compression Prefered treatment Adjuvant therapy*
Trauma Decompressive/stabilization surgery of vertebral column +
Disc herniation Laminectomy +
Metastasis Corticosteroids + radiation therapy +
Epidural abscess CT guided aspiration of abscess + Antibiotics +
Adjuvant therapy includes : Maintenance of fluid volume, nutritional status , prevention of stress ulcers , in cases of compression caused by abscess antibiotics are indicated.


  1. Tsuzuki S, Park SH, Eber MR, Peters CM, Shiozawa Y (2016). "Skeletal complications in cancer patients with bone metastases". Int. J. Urol. 23 (10): 825–832. doi:10.1111/iju.13170. PMID 27488133.
  2. Ropper, Alexander E.; Longo, Dan L.; Ropper, Allan H. (2017). "Acute Spinal Cord Compression". New England Journal of Medicine. 376 (14): 1358–1369. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1516539. ISSN 0028-4793.

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