Posterior Spinal Cord Compression: Outcome and Results

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Study Design.

Prospective, comparative study of neurologic outcome in patients with posterior extradural cord compression.


To compare the results of surgical decompression in patients presenting with neurologic deficit due to posterior element tuberculosis with those due to other causes.

Summary of Background Data.

Posterior cord compression is a relatively uncommon entity with not much literature published on it.


Over a period of 5 years, 14 patients with extradural posterior cord compression with neurologic deficit were divided into two etiologic groups: 9 patients had Koch’s and 5 had other pathologies. All these cases were surgically decompressed posteriorly and the results compared.


While results of surgery in patients with Koch’s were good, with 7 of the 9 patients showing full recovery, outcome in patients with compression due to other causes (tumor/pyogenic infection) was not very satisfactory even after adequate mechanical decompression, with 3 of the 5 cases remaining paraplegic even after surgery.


Posterior cord compression due to nontuberculous causes frequently mimics the picture of Koch’s both clinically and radiologically. Prognosis of surgical decompression is good in tuberculous compression but not in other cases.

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