Consequences of intraoperative spinal cord manipulation in dogs with thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion

<div><p>ABSTRACT The objective of the present study was to evaluate if extradural contact during hemilaminectomy would cause neurological deterioration in the early and/or late postoperative period in dogs with intervertebral disc extrusion. Nineteen dogs with thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion underwent hemilaminectomy for spinal cord decompression and removal of extruded disc material. Meningeal contacts during surgery were quantified. Paraplegia (with nociception) and paraparesis were observed in 11/19 and 8/19 of dogs, respectively, before surgery. At the end of our study, only two (2/19) had paraplegia and one (1/19), paraparesis. There were more extradural contacts when extruded intervertebral disc material was at a ventrolateral position. Extradural contacts during surgery had no influence on neurological progression nor on time to recovery of motor function. Immediately (24 and 48 hours) after surgery, 13/19 dogs had the same neurological stage before surgery. At 7 and 90 days, 13/19 and 17/19 dogs, respectively, showed neurological improvement, compared with their preoperative stage. There was no influence of the number of extradural contacts on neurological recovery. These findings indicate that a careful inspection of the vertebral canal for removal of as much extruded disc material as possible does not cause neurologic deterioration.</p></div>