Who is the surgically resilient individual with traumatic spinal cord injury?

David Graham, Guillermo Becerril-Martinez, Jonathan Tang


Surgical resilience is a concept that describes psychological resilience in the surgical setting. Surgically resilient patients have improved recovery, and this may have implications for selection to enhanced recovery protocols. A combination of psychometric testing and endogenous biomarkers have been proposed to identify surgically resilient patients. Early surgical intervention following spinal cord injury (SCI) is a critical component within a complex multidisciplinary care model. Resilient individuals with SCI have better recovery trajectories. The resilience profile of an individual with SCI could be used to support individualised perioperative management, but resilience could have wider implications for ongoing rehabilitation. This editorial discusses surgical resilience in the context of SCI and explores some of the limitations of the concept.