Spinal cordectomy: A new hope for morbid spinal conditions

Subhas K. Konar, Tanmoy K. Maiti, Shyamal C. Bir, Anil Nanda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A spinal cordectomy is a treatment option for several disorders of the spinal cord like post-traumatic syringomyelia, spinal cord tumor and myelomeningocele. We have done a systematic analysis of all reported cases of spinal cordectomy to investigate the possible outcomes and complications. A PubMed search was performed for literature published from 1949 to 2015 with search words “spinal cordectomy”, “spinal cord transection” and “cordectomy for malignant spinal cord tumors” to select articles containing information about the indication, outcome and complication of spinal cordectomy performed for diverse etiologies. Spinal cordectomy was performed for post-traumatic syrinx (76 cases), SPAM (2 cases), Central pain of spinal cord origin (22 cases), Spasticity (8 cases), Spinal tumors (16 cases) and Myelomeningocele (30 cases). Among the 76 cases, 60 cases fulfilled the inclusion criteria for our outcome analysis in terms of improvement, stabilization or deterioration after spinal cordectomy. The results showed 78.3% excellent improvement, 13.4% stable and 8.3% (5 cases) deterioration. The reported causes of failure of spinal cordectomy for post-traumatic syrinx were scarring of a proximal stump and severe arachnoid adhesion. Sixteen cases of spinal cordectomy related with spinal cord tumors have been reported. Also reported were seven cases of GBM, two cases of AA and one each case of anaplastic tanycytic ependymoma, schwanoma, neurofibroma, atypical meningioma and malignant ganglioglioma. Cordectomy shouldbe strongly considered in patients having malignant spinal cord tumors with complete motor loss and sensory loss below the level of the lesion as a means of preventing the spread of disease from the original tumor focus. Spinal cordectomy is a treatment option with a good outcome for post-traumatic spinal morbidity, spinal cord tumors and myelomeningocele. However, since it is an invasive and irreversible procedure, it is only considered when other options have been exhausted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Outcome
  • Post-traumatic syringomyelia
  • Spinal cord tumor
  • Spinal cordectomy


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