CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: April 9, 2002
UI Health Care physician helps author spinal cord injury care guidelines
A University of Iowa Health Care physician helped prepare recently released
national guidelines for the care of patients with traumatic spine and spinal
Timothy Ryken, M.D., an assistant professor in the UI Department of Neurosurgery,
served on the committee of seven prominent neurosurgeons that authored the
25 chapters comprising the guidelines. The guidelines appear in a special
supplement to the March 2002 issue of Neurosurgery, the official journal of
the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The document will also be available
for widespread dissemination through Web sites of the American Association
of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
The publication, "Guidelines for the Management of Acute Cervical Spine
and Spinal Cord Injuries," represents a major step forward in the incorporation
of scientific method into the practice of neurosurgery.
"We wanted to thoroughly review all of the best practices and then
help provide guidance for the entire health care team about caring for these
patients," Ryken said. "The guidelines will be a valuable resource
that can help achieve the best possible outcome for people affected with these
very serious injuries."
The guidelines provide information on subjects ranging from immobilization
of patients by emergency crews in the field and during transportation to the
hospital to the appropriate use of medications and various surgical techniques.
The authors also included a section about caring for children who cervical
"The guidelines are meant to be dynamic and will be updated as new
advances are made," Ryken added. "The goals of practice guidelines
are to condense the cumulative medical literature into a manageable document,
to protect the various options available to physicians in caring for these
patients to highlight areas of needed research. We hope the guidelines will
provide a basis for enhancing the care of patients." The guidelines are
approved by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress
of Neurological Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.
Ryken is a graduate of the UI Carver College of Medicine. He served his
residency at UI Hospitals and Clinics, and a fellowship at Cambridge University
in Cambridge, United Kingdom. He is board certified in neurosurgery and is
a VanWegenen Fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons,
with clinical expertise in spinal surgery, and neurosurgical oncology.