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Rehabilitation Outcomes in Spinal Abscess Patients With and Without a History of Intravenous Substance Abuse.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to compare functional outcomes of acute inpatient rehabilitation for spinal epidural abscess patients with and without history of intravenous substance abuse.

DESIGN: This is a retrospective case series study in freestanding rehabilitation hospital.

METHODS: Charts of 28 spinal epidural abscess patients admitted from January 2012 to September 2015: 13 with intravenous substance abuse and 15 without intravenous substance abuse were reviewed. Both groups received standard-of-care rehabilitation. Statistical analyses of Functional Independence Measure scores were conducted using individual 2 (substance use) × 2 (rehabilitation status) repeated measures analysis of variance. Functional outcomes were defined by total Functional Independence Measure scores as well as motor and cognitive subsets. Length of stay and morphine equivalents were also compared.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the two groups. There was a significant main effect of treatment on total Functional Independence Measure scores (P < 0.001), Functional Independence Measure motor scores (P < 0.001), and Functional Independence Measure cognitive scores (P < 0.01) from admission to discharge. Subsequent Student's t tests revealed that the scores of both groups significantly improved on all Functional Independence Measure components. There were no group differences on length of stay and morphine equivalents at discharge.

CONCLUSIONS: Acute inpatient rehabilitation can effectively improve functional outcomes in spinal epidural abscess patients with or without intravenous substance abuse, even though these two patient groups can vary in clinical factors.

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