Purpose: The authors discuss the use of intraoperative monitoring of spinal cord function as an essential part of operations in which the spinal cord is at risk. Although early documented cases of intraoperative monitoring were during operations to correct spinal deformities such as scoliosis, intraoperative monitoring has also increased safety during other operations, such as tumor resection and arteriovenous malformation ablation. Methods: The authors highlight details involved in monitoring spinal cord function intraoperatively and discuss historical, current, and future perspectives on the use of these monitoring techniques as an essential part of operations in which the spinal cord is at risk. Results: Intraoperative monitoring techniques mitigate the risk of post-operative deficits to the spinal cord by detecting injuries before they become permanent and while they can be reversed. Conclusions: Intraoperative spinal cord monitoring is safe, cost-effective, and valuable in reducing postoperative sensory and motor deficit. This technique should continue to be refined and its use consistently applied in any procedure where injury to the spinal cord is possible.
- Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring
- Motor evoked potentials
- Somatosensory evoked potentials
- Spinal cord injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology