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Directed rehabilitation reduces pain and depression while increasing independence and satisfaction with life for patients with paraplegia due to epidural metastatic spinal cord compression

Robert L. Ruff, MD, PhD, et al.

Figure. Rehabilitation (rehab) prolongs life of nonambulatory patients with spinal epidural metastasis (SEM).

We determined whether directed rehabilitation affected the survival, pain, depression, independence, and satisfaction with life of veterans who were nonambulatory after spinal epidural metastasis (SEM) treatment. Specialized rehabilitation is usually provided to patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) but not to patients who develop SCI due to systemic cancer. Patients who received 2 weeks of rehabilitation had longer median survival and fewer deaths from myelopathic complications than the control patients who did not receive rehabilitation. Two weeks after SEM treatment, the rehabilitated patients also had less pain, lower depression scores, and higher satisfaction with life scores.


Volume 44 Number 1 2007
Pages 1 — 10


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