Patients with SEH are treated at this institution with rapid evacuation of the hematoma and decompression of the spinal cord. Controversy exists between those who advocate emergency surgery and those who operate on an urgent rather than emergency basis. Tarlov and colleagues29–32 demonstrated experimentally in dogs that recovery of neurological function after spinal cord compression with an epidural balloon depends on the force and duration of compression and the rapidity of onset of motor deficits. McQuarrie21 confirmed these observations in the clinical setting by showing that delay before surgery reduced the probability of recovery. Foo and Rossier9 reviewed the clinical literature and concluded that recovery did not depend on the timing of surgery but rather on the preoperative neurological condition of the patient, with better results in those with incomplete motor and sensory loss. We reviewed our experience with patients with SEH who were surgically treated and examined the relationship between surgical timing and neurological outcome.
Tarlov IM: Spinal cord compression studies III. Time limits for recovery after gradual compression in dogs. Arch Neurol Psychiatry 71:588–5971954Tarlov IM: Spinal cord compression studies III. Time limits for recovery after gradual compression in dogs. Arch Neurol Psychiatry 71: