Spinal cord compression: an oncologic emergency associated with metastatic cancer: evaluation and management for the home health clinician

Home Healthc Nurse. 2006 Jul-Aug;24(7):439-46; quiz 447-8. doi: 10.1097/00004045-200607000-00007.


Spinal cord compression is an oncologic emergency that needs to be identified, evaluated, and treated promptly for favorable patient outcomes. Although there are nonmalignant types of spinal cord compression, this article focuses on patients presenting with metastatic cancer. Home care clinicians should be knowledgeable with current assessment strategies aimed at recognizing this potentially debilitating condition. Using an assessment tool could assist clinicians with early detection of spinal cord compression, which could improve the overall quality of life.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Community Health Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Emergencies / nursing*
  • Female
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Assessment / methods*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Quality of Life
  • Skin Care
  • Social Support
  • Spinal Cord Compression* / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Compression* / etiology
  • Spinal Cord Compression* / therapy
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / secondary*