Relationship of neural axis level of injury to motor recovery and health-related quality of life in patients with a thoracolumbar spinal injury.
Outcomes following traumatic conus medullaris and cauda equina injuries are typically predicted on the basis of the vertebral level of injury. This may be misleading as it is based on the assumption that the conus medullaris terminates at L1 despite its variable location. Our primary objective was to determine whether the neural axis level of injury (the spinal cord, conus medullaris, or cauda equina) as determined with magnetic resonance imaging is better than the vertebral level of injury for prediction of motor improvement in patients with a neurological deficit secondary to a thoracolumbar spinal injury.
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