Early sequelae of gunshot wounds to the spine: Radiologic diagnosis

F. E. Gellad, K. S. Paul, F. H. Geisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


During a 6-month period, 11 consecutive patients who had delayed neurologic deterioration after sustaining a gunshot wound to the spine were prospectively evaluated clinically, radiologically, and surgically. The patients had dysesthetic burning pain in an anesthetic area, hyperhidrosis, flexor spasm, and additional motor deficit above the level of cord injury 2-22 weeks after injury. Radiologic evaluation consisted of plain radiography of the spine and metrizamide myelography followed by computed tomography. A syringomyelic cavity was found in seven patients, an arachnoid cyst in three, and osteomyelitis in one. Seven of these patients also had cord atrophy. Postoperatively, dysesthetic pain was relieved in all the patients. There was no recurrence during a 2-year follow-up. These results emphasize the need for immediate radiologic investigation in patients with gunshot wounds of the spine who have further deterioration superimposed on their initial deficit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-526
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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