There have been twenty-eight cases of cord compression complicating scoliosis reported since 1913, and an additional case is reported here. This complication occurs in cases of long-standing scoliosis. Sixty per cent. of the reported cases were congenital in type and 40 per cent. were the result of infantile paralysis. The rapid-growth changes during adolescence and the inability of the spinal cord to accommodate itself to these changes are the likely explanation of the compression, since practically all of the reported cases of paraplegia occurred during this active-growth period. The paraplegia begins with no root symptoms and progresses rapidly. While recovery has followed conservative treatment, laminectomy has resulted in a higher percentage of cures. Prognosis with laminectomy appears to be good. The question of spinal fusion is discussed, but no conclusion is formulated as to whether or not this operation will prevent cord compression.
(C) 1937 All Rights Reserved.The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.