The Canadian Journal Of Neurological Sciences. Le Journal Canadien Des Sciences Neurologiques [Can J Neurol Sci] 2009 Jan; Vol. 36 (1), pp. 47-50.
Canada, Humans, Spinal Diseases surgery, Surveys and Questionnaires, Diagnostic Imaging methods, Monitoring, Intraoperative methods, Pediatrics, and Spinal Diseases pathology
Background: Neuromonitoring during paediatric (and adult) spinal deformity surgery helps to reduce the risk of both permanent and short term neurological damage. A shortage of neurophysiologists and technicians limits the availability of this service. Not all surgeons believe neuromonitoring offers neuroprotection during spinal surgery. This study aimed to document the degree to which paediatric patients undergoing spinal deformity correction surgery have their spinal cord function monitored. Methods: A questionnaire was sent electronically to all of the surgical members of the Canadian Paediatric Spinal Deformity Study Group. Results: Results were received from 9/9 centres indicating that monitoring was performed in 7/9 centres, with one further centre awaiting staffing. Whilst half of those centres that do monitor only monitor sensory and motor evoked potentials, the remaining centres also use EMG and EEG to assess the state of the patient intraoperatively. Conclusions: Despite a shortage of staff, most paediatric spinal deformity surgeons in Canada who wish to, are able to neurophysiologically monitor their surgical cases. Neuromonitoring appears to be becoming a standard of care, at least for paediatric spinal deformity surgery. There is an urgent need for the establishment of national standards for both technologists and interpreters, as well as training programmes for both these groups.