Presurgical selection criteria for decompressive craniectomy (DC) for treatment of severe traumatic brain injury remain controversial. Proposed criteria to improve outcomes include high admission Glasgow Coma Scale scores (≥7) and exclusion of patients having brainstem involvement. Neurosurgeons may be unaware of long-term functional outcomes in their DC patients. Therefore, to underscore an exceptional outcome that may have been facilitated by DC, while highlighting need for caution in development of potentially overly restrictive presurgical selection criteria, this case report of a 21-yr-old premed college student admitted with severe traumatic brain injury, Glasgow Coma Scale score of 3, left fixed dilated pupil, and brainstem signs, who had emergency DC, is presented. Nine years after the trauma, she was employed full time as a physician, and only residual symptom, an occasional headache, remained. Thus, caution is necessary in the development of DC presurgical selection guidelines, as this case had excellent long-term functional outcome that may have been facilitated by DC despite initial low Glasgow Coma Scale scores and signs of brainstem involvement. Also, this case highlights one more reason for multispecialty physician advocacy, collaboration, and comparative effectiveness research.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation|
|State||Published - Feb 21 2015|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation