Historically, clinical outcomes following spinal cord injury have been dismal. Over the past 20 years, the survival rate and long-term outcome of patients with spinal cord injury have improved with advances in both medical and surgical treatment. However, the efficacy and timing of these adjuvant treatments remain controversial. There has been a tremendous increase in the number of basic science and clinical studies on spinal cord injury. Current areas of investigation include early acute management, including early surgical intervention, as well as new pharmacotherapy and cellular transplantation strategies. It is unlikely that a single approach can uniformly address all of the issues associated with spinal cord injury. Thus, a multidisciplinary approach will be needed.

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