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What is Spinal Cord Monitoring?

Spinal-cord monitoring is a field of electroneurodiagnostics devoted to the recording and study of the electric activity of the brain and nervous system during surgery. Technologists use a variety of techniques and instruments to record electric activity arising from the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. These recordings are reported to the surgeon and supervising electrodiagnostic physician.

Spinal-cord monitoring involves putting sensors on the patient to monitor changes in electric signals. It can spot changes in brain, spinal-cord and peripheral-nerve function before there is any irreversible damage. Monitoring of nerves can guide the surgeon through dissection and alert him or her of a stimulated nerve. It can show nerve stress or damage and pinpoint the location of the irritation.