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An Overview of Brown-Sequard Syndrome and Treatment Options - Spine Center of Texas
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An Overview of Brown-Sequard Syndrome and Treatment Options

suffering from back pain while trying to work in the office

Brown-Sequard Syndrome is a condition that occurs due to spinal cord damage on one side, caused by an injury to the back or the neck. The underlying reason is often being on the receiving end of a puncture wound. The condition is rare, affecting men and women equally, and accounts for approximately 2% of spinal cord injuries.

Individuals with this disorder have a good chance of recovering most, if not all, of their previous function. Prompt treatment is paramount to help prevent long-lasting disability.

Causes of Brown-Sequard Syndrome are:

  • Knife or gunshot wound
  • An auto accident in rare occasions
  • Cervical Spondylosis
  • Arachnoid Cyst
  • Epidural hematoma
  • Viral or Bacterial Infection
  • High-force fall

Symptoms of the condition develop after trauma to the neck or back, and include:

  • Loss of touch sensation on the side of the injury
  • Loss of sense of body positioning on the side of the injury
  • Loss of temperature and pain sensation on the opposite side of the injury
  • Possible loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Weakness and loss of muscle mass around the injury

Brown- Sequard Syndrome diagnosis uses imaging, such as x-rays, MRI, and CT Scanning. If the diagnosis is delayed, permanent paralysis can happen on the side of the body with the wound.

There is no specific treatment plan for Brown- Sequard Syndrome. Care and rehabilitation targets finding and managing the underlying causes. Pain medication and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are prescribed to control pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. Assistive devices, such as canes, wheelchairs, braces, splints, and limb supports help are available to aid with mobility. If the injury is severe, the individual may need devices for breathing and swallowing.  Surgery for cyst removal or spinal fusion may be necessary.

The chances of recovery from Brown- Sequard Syndrome are quite good, with the return of most function occurring within the first one to two months after the event, and continues for up to six more months. If you have experienced a traumatic spinal cord injury and would like to schedule an appointment to find out about our treatment options, please call our San Antonio, New Braunfels or Seguin offices.