Current Concepts Central Cord Syndrome

Sohaib Z. Hashmi*, Angelo Marra, Louis G. Jenis, Alpesh A. Patel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Central cord syndrome (CCS) represents a clinical phenomenon characterized by disproportionately greater motor impairment of the upper than of the lower extremities, bladder dysfunction. CSS is the most common form of incomplete traumatic spinal cord injury. The initial description of CSS was reported in 1887 secondary to cervical spinal trauma. However, recent literature describes a heterogenous injury patterns including high-energy and low-energy mechanisms and bimodal patient age distributions. Pathophysiology of clinical symptoms and neurological deficits often is affected by preexisting cervical spondylosis. Urgent clinical diagnosis is dependent on neurological examination and imaging studies. Treatment of CSS is dependent on injury mechanism and compressive lesions, neurological examination, preexisting cervical pathology, and patient- specific comorbidities. This article will review the current concepts in diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment of CSS with a highlighted case example.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-412
Number of pages6
JournalClinical spine surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Central cord syndrome
  • cervical spine trauma
  • incomplete spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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