BACKGROUND CONTEXT:
Cervical spinal trauma can result in a heterogeneous collection of spinal cord injury syndromes. Acute traumatic central cord syndrome is a common category of which no uniform consensus on the etiology, pathophysiology, and treatment exists.

PURPOSE:
To evaluate and review potential pathophysiology, current treatment options, and management of central cord injuries.

STUDY DESIGN:
Comprehensive literature review and clinical experience.

METHODS:
A systematic review of Medline for articles related to central cord and spinal cord injury was conducted up to and including journal articles published in September 2005.

CONCLUSIONS:
Central cord injuries is a clinical definition which is composed of a heterogeneous population for which medical management and surgical decompression and stabilization provide improved neurologic recovery.



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2

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