Child's Nervous System

, Volume 34, Issue 9, pp 1753–1758 | Cite as

Pediatric intramedullary spinal cord tumor outcomes using the WeeFIM scale

  • Thomas Noh
  • Manuel S. Vogt
  • David W. Pruitt
  • Trent R. Hummel
  • Francesco T. ManganoEmail author
Original Paper



The Functional Independence Measure for children (WeeFIM) is a user-friendly functional outcomes tool that has been validated across other traditional functional scales. Historically, the significant neurologic and functional deficits of intramedullary spinal cord tumors (IMSCTs) have been monitored by coarse or overbearing functional outcomes tools that make it difficult to measure the slow improvement/decline seen in these patients. This study is the first to report WeeFIM outcomes on a series of IMSCTs with emphasis on an aggressive surgical strategy.


A retrospective review from 2005 to 2014 was performed for nine patients who underwent resective surgery for intramedullary spinal cord tumors with intraoperative ultrasound and neurophysiologic monitoring. WeeFIM scales were assessed at admission and discharge to evaluate changes in severity of disability and need for assistance.


At the time of this submission, 7/9 patients are alive. The mean WeeFIM improvement was 27 points (8–50 points) with a mean WeeFIM efficiency of 2.0 points/day.


The WeeFIM scale is an appropriate and useful scale for measuring postoperative improvements in patients with IMSCTs undergoing aggressive resective surgery. Attention to intraoperative spinal cord monitoring and prevention of spinal column instability may prevent morbidity related to surgery, and functional outcomes do not appear to be compromised by an aggressive surgical approach.


Intramedullary spinal cord tumor Pediatric spinal tumors Spinal ependymoma WeeFIM 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryHenry Ford HospitalDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Rehabilitation, Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute, Division of Oncology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  5. 5.Department of Neurological Surgery, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA

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