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16.07.2019 | main topic | Ausgabe 23-24/2019 Open Access

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 23-24/2019

Challenges in rehabilitation of patients with nontraumatic spinal cord dysfunction due to tumors

A narrative review

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 23-24/2019
Anna Pataraia, Richard Crevenna
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The incidence of cancer-associated non-traumatic spinal cord dysfunction is rising due to population aging and better cancer treatment. The overall benefit of rehabilitation in specialized facilities for traumatic spinal cord dysfunction has been confirmed many times. Because of their fragility and multiple comorbidities cancer patients still face challenges to complete rehabilitation in the spinal rehabilitation facilities. In this narrative review we describe specific aspects, challenges in rehabilitation and opportunities to improve care. A literature search was performed in the PubMed database from 1 January 1978 to 30 November 2018. The focus was to find publications that discuss challenges and opportunities for rehabilitation of patients with non-traumatic spinal cord dysfunction due to a tumor. Most publications described the benefits of rehabilitation in specialized facilities. There were only few publications about survival and functional outcomes after rehabilitation for this patient population. Overall benefits including fewer complications associated with spinal cord dysfunction, less pain and depression, and better quality of life were shown. Within the past decades increasing number of publications revealed a growing interest for this group of patients. Despite major progress in cancer treatment, patients still have a limited vital prognosis and access to specialized rehabilitation units because of the concerns about the medical complexity. Patients with spinal cord tumors can benefit in areas of functionality, mood, quality of life, and survival from inpatient rehabilitation programs, in spite of the increased medical comorbidities.

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