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McCormick Scale
Please visit this website for more information about the instrument: McCormick Scale.
Exploratory: Chiari I Maliformation (CM)
Short Description of Instrument
Purpose: The McCormick Scale (McCormick et al., 1990; Manzano et al., 2008) serves as a clinical/functional classification scale that is used to evaluate patients who present with intramedullary spinal cord tumors in order to categorize patient's mobility and sensory statuses. It was "designed to assess myelopathy severity" (Guirado et al., 2013), and is "mainly directed to ambulatory status" (Guirado et al., 2013). The scale is administered by a licensed medical doctor. "This scale includes the degree of patients' independence from external assistance as a main factor" (Guirado et al., 2013).
Reference A indicates that the Short Form (36) Health Survey (SF-36) correlates well with the McCormick scale.
Scale: This scale uses a four point system (I-IV), in which the higher the score, the more unhealthy the patient. The scale is as follows:


    I: Neurologically normal, mild focal deficits, normal gait
    II: Sensorimotor deficits affecting function, severe pain, gait difficulties, can still walk
    III: Moderate neurological deficit, requires cane for ambulation, minor involvement of arms, partially independent
    IV: As grade 3 with arms affected, usually not independent

Strengths/Weaknesses: This is the most commonly used scale for this subject, but it does not include bladder or bowel status.
Manzano G, Green BA, Vanni S, Levi AD. Contemporary management of adult intramedullary spinal tumors-pathology and neurological outcomes related to surgical resection. Spinal Cord. 2008;46(8):540-546.
McCormick PC, Torres R, Post KD, Stein BM. Intramedullary ependymoma of the spinal cord. J Neurosurg. 1990;72(4):523-532.
Additional References:
Bellut D, Burkhardt JK, Mannion AF, Porchet F. Assessment of outcome in patients undergoing surgery for intradural spinal tumor using the multidimensional patient-rated Core Outcome Measures Index and the modified McCormick Scale. Neurosurgical focus. 2015;39(2):E2.
Guirado VM, Taricco MA, Nobre MR, Couto EB, Jr., Ribas ES, Meluzzi A, Brock RS, Dias MR, Rodrigues R, Teixeira MJ. Quality of life in adult intradural primary spinal tumors: 36-Item Short Form Health Survey correlation with McCormick and Aminoff-Logue scales. J Neurosurg Spine. 2013;19(6):721-735.
Samandouras G.The Neurosurgeon's Handbook. Oxford University Press, 2010.


Document last updated April 2020