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Thread: Spinal stroke?

  1. #11
    First of all thank you for your comments and advice. I will be using all this to try and get my partner the treatment she deserves. Considering that the mistake happened in this hospital you would think they would try harder. My partner had a general not an epidural. She has had no spinal tap.
    The initail physio was 15 min 5 x pw, i was giving her some myself. They finally improved on this after 3 weeks when we fell out with them. It is now 2 hours a day. Just like the doctor who said she should not go to a spinal unit before even examining her the latest consultant said today that there seems to be very little muscle wastage, this coming from someone who never saw her for the first 3 weeks so how does she know what my partners legs were like before. She has lost 10 % of her body weight so i would say there was a good amount of wastage.They had her on tamazipan for sleeping? I questioned it and they changed it straight away, if they were right surely they would have kept her on it. Muscle relaxent and reduced motor function is not what she need in my eyes. Maybe i was wrong? Thank you again. I will keep you informed.

  2. #12

    spinal stroke or what?

    Dear friends, i am just back from the hospital. Today the doctor was suggesting that the care my prtner is receiving is the same as she would get from a specialist unit, if so why do we bother with specialist units? My partner has seen the notesand 2 things came to light.
    1. They do not know if it was a spinal stroke, wont say it is as there is no visible damage on MRIs and also she has no feeling in her legs which they say is not a symptom. So she has an extra symptom!
    2. When she was in theatre she was head down, is this usual for a Laparoscopy?
    My next question is if it is not a spinal stroke then what caused it? Should we not know? Maybe it will happen again. I understand i am rather uneducated compared to some of you and a little emotional but do you think i am being unreasonable asking these questions.
    Some good news- she was able to lift her right foot of the floor whilst in her chair! Yipee.

  3. #13
    Wow! That is great news; I am so excited for her

    My understanding of a Spinal Cord Stroke is it can cause non feeling. It all depends on what part of the spinal cord went without blood. I lost hot, cold, pain, and kept light touch. From what I read many people who have spinal cord strokes were misdiagnosed at first. For me, my MRI showed a neon streak from C2-T2 that was clearly damaged.

  4. #14
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    What is the big secret here? Laproscopy is how the surgery was preformed. Might help us if we knew what was operated on.

    My spinal stroke left me with light touch, vibration and proprio-senasation. Years later I have some heat and cold and normal pain.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  5. #15
    They were having a look at her ovaries as she has had treatment for cervical cancer and now had lumps on her ovaries. The problem is she is now in a stroke ward, nothing to do with spinal injuries and they are doing anything they can from finding out what caused this. Ofcourse they have already mentioned spinal stroke and Tranverse Myelitis but not saying def or even trying to find out if it was any of these. A bit worrying in my eyes. As far as we know she was in a head down position(as normal) for this procedure. This ofcourse would not help if she has low blodd pressure. Normally she has blood pressure of 90 over 60, this can be reaised easily by putting her on a drip. When she was in theatre her pressure dropped to 60 over something for 10 mins. We dont have exact figures. This i think would not be good with the head down position(?) Where i think they have failed is in the prep as they could have gave themselves a larger window to play with by putting my partner on a drip before the op and raising her pressure to a normal level(?) But again should we not find out what caused it so we can make sure it does not happen again? Over to you all. I drill wells for a living so i know nothing about medicine. Thank you for helping and listening.

  6. #16
    Has a SSEP (somatosensory evoked potential) been discussed as a diagnostic tool?

    (KLD)

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by melissa76
    I totally agree. I am not too sure if mentally it is the best thing as she has a young family. I want her to go she does not. Although she will if told by a professional that it is best. She has no problems with her bowels or bladder, none. I will let you know how we get on. thank you

    Melissa, I am a spinal cord injury researcher. Four parts of your description strongly argue against a spinal stroke.

    1. "She has no problems with her bowels or bladder, none." In my opinion, this statement alone throws the spinal cord stroke diagnosis out the window. Let me explain why. A spinal stroke that causes injury to the thoracic spinal cord and that causes paralysis in the legs must have affected the long tracts. Your partner should have problems with bladder control. The fact that she did not have any problem with her bladder at any time indicates that she did not have spinal cord injury.

    2. The above is consistent with the absence of any MRI findings in her spinal cord. A stroke usually causes a rather big increase in MRI intensity at the infarct site. If none can be seen, there is unlikely to be a stroke.

    3. You are not describing any of the other symptoms of spinal cord injury, symptoms that are usually apparent by this time, including spasticity (if there is no spasticity, there should be substantial atrophy).

    4. You don't describe a sensory level in the belly, butt, or other parts of the anatomy. A sensory level is where there is sensation above and no sensation below a given level. A spinal cord injury should cause a prominent sensory level and most people would describe such a level.

    I suspect that your partner did not have a spinal cord injury. It sounds like it was more like nerve compression or perhaps even peripheral neuropathy. By the way, a drop in blood pressure normally would not cause a spinal cord infarct, without severe brain damage. The brain is much more sensitive to reduced blood flow than the spinal cord. So, if she has had no brain damage, it is very unlikely that the episode of hypotension had any effect on her spinal cord.

    I don't know what she has. My guess, based on the limited history that you have given including the fact that she has cancer and may be receiving chemotherapy, is that the cancer or chemotherapy may have caused a peripheral neuropathy that was aggravated by the hypotension. The way that you would find out is to do a neurological examination and to look for reflexes. The deep tendon reflexes should be depressed with peripheral neuropathy but increased with spinal cord injury. Electrophysiological study of the peripheral nerve should show decreased conduction velocity in the peripheral nerves and should be able to separate out sensory or motor neuropathy, if there is a difference.

    The differential diagnosis should be cauda equina injury, diabetes, and Guillian-Barre or a viral-induced peripheral neuropathy.

    Wise.

  8. #18
    Hi Sue:

    Can you elaborate on regaining the ability to feel pain? Did it come back all at once? Is it normal? The same all over? How long did it take? and your hot and cold?

  9. #19
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckydog
    Hi Sue:

    Can you elaborate on regaining the ability to feel pain? Did it come back all at once? Is it normal? The same all over? How long did it take? and your hot and cold?
    Most of it came back slowly, in patches, over the years I took 4-AP. The first pain that came back was I lost my neurogenic pain in my feet but realized I had arthritis in my toes which my doc confirmed. Hot and cold is still patchy but left leg is more sensitive. The artery that was effected entered the right side of my cord. You can probably find more by searching the site for 4-AP, 4-aminopyridine or Fampridine and my name. Oh, some regular pain did reappear around my 2nd anniversary before I started 4-AP.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  10. #20
    My brother is 21 years old and suffered an incident 12 days ago. Inital symptoms were chest pain and numbness in both arms. He was taken to the ER via ambulance. Upon arrival he was able to walk and communicate infomation to the to the paramedics. While sitting in the ER he stated that his chest pain has subsided both still could not feel both arms. Within five hours, he was unable to feel both legs and began having difficulty breathing. MRI was negative and neuro specialsit diagnosed him with Gullain Barre syndrome. He was sent to Vanderbilt for additional tests. GBS was moved down on the list due to no trigger and symptoms were in reverse order. A second MRI was performed and showed a blockage. Since then he has had three plasma exchange treatments and has showed improvement. He has been able to move his shoulder, communicate w/ trach, increased sensation in limbs, and feeling burning sensation in legs and butt. A dye tests was performed and no blockage was found, but docs were only able to view "sections" and the body could have expelled the blockage. His breathing has greatly improved but still the aid of a vetalator. The latest finding was a small hole in his heat that did not close and they feel this may have been a cause of the stroke. Any suggestions wether or not this is a stroke or GBS?

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