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Thread: 25 yr old daughter with spinal hemangioma C3-4

  1. #11
    thank you for the update of your daughter's progress. She is very lucky.

  2. #12

    How does sensory return?

    She has Brown-Sequard type symptoms after surgical hemangioma removal at C3/4. She is four months post op and is starting to get some pressure type sensation back on her right side with cold hyper sensitivity behind her right knee.

    Is there a "typical" or expected pattern to sensory return? I am wondering if someone can relate to similar cases or point me to some papers to understand progression (if there is a pattern).

    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 07-06-2009 at 01:04 PM. Reason: Merge two threads

  3. #13
    My son got some sensory return during his recovery and it seemed to just progress and move down. At first he couldn't feel his legs, then he could feel his thighs, then a the calfs. It was just a slow progression -- that's the best way to describe it. For him, the sensory hasn't changed much since the first few months. Also, he can feel different parts of his legs, but not all of it. Strength has improved. Keep in mind that it is different for everyone and that he's an L1 trauma injury so it would be very different from your daughter. Wish I could be more help. There are a lot of papers on this site by Dr. Young. I found them to be a great help in the early months.

    Take care.
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    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

  4. #14
    For a Brown Sequard lesion, you would expect to have one side weaker than the other, and that the stronger side has more impairment of hot/cold and pain sensation (pin prick). The weaker side may have no sensation, or just less sensation than the stronger side. There can be impairment of touch on both sides, and also impairment of proprioception (position sense) on both sides.

    Some people with Brown Sequard never get any return of sensation on their stronger side. Some get back a little, while a few get back all the sensation eventually. It is totally individual based on the extent of damage to the cord. There is no set progression or time-line.

    As with any return, the most usually occurs in the first 3 months, but can continue for at least 2 years post injury, and many report return in small increments for a number of years after that as well.


  5. #15
    Senior Member wheelchairTITAN's Avatar
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    Oakville, ON ... Just North of the 43rd Parallel, SocialistLand
    Quote Originally Posted by DesertBighorn View Post
    Four month update on Lindsey - she had a three month follow up with her neurosurgeon with an MRI on June 1st. He was very happy with the cross section views of her surgery site. His words, "Look, you have a spinal cord!" where it was once compressed paper thin. He confirmed that she is a traditional Brown-Sequard syndrome case with strength deficit on her left and sensory deficit on her right.

    In the past few weeks she has started to get some sensory perception back. It appears to be deep pressure sensation, not surface feeling. She can feel pressure when something is pressed into her skin on both leg and arm (from her foot and hand). She also has some hypersensitivity to cold on the back of her knee. All in all we are optimistic this is the start of continued improvement.

    She is up to running a mile on the treadmill and has learned to cope well enough to do all her basics like shave her legs, do make-up, get her hair in a pony tail and put her contacts in and get them out. Definitely good progress.

    She walked a couple of miles in our local 4th of July parade, with her drill/dance team of course.

    Happy 4th!

    Just read the whole thread. Pretty amazing in so many ways! William


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  6. #16

    Six month post op update

    Six months can seem like a long time, but the news is good. Lindsey has started to make some great gains in sensation on her right side and strength on her left. Her strength has gone from 17 lbs grip pressure to 34 lbs when last measured. She started accupuncture treatments three weeks ago (we thought, what does she have to lose, no pun intended) and is regaining sensation her right side. She can feel light touch on her right foot, identifying the toe or area that is touched!! Today she can detect light touch on her right hand.

    She is off Lyrica and doing well there.

    She worked as a dental assistant in an ortho office. They brought her a denta form fake mouth and tools after her surgery. In months past that would be put away in frustration after just a few minutes of trying to perform the tasks she used to be able to do effortlessly. A couple of weeks ago Lindsey greeted me at the door and lead me into the kitchen to show me how she can apply spacers and do some wiring on braces. She is doing so much better and has developed new drive to recover.

    Keep the faith!!


  7. #17
    Great news!

  8. #18

    Three year update

    A long overdue update. This past weekend marked Lindsey's three year surgical anniversary. Following her surgery she attempted to return to her job as a dental assistant. She had been optomistic as at that time she was still progressing pretty rapidly. After she returned to work however, she just couldn't do her job due to loss of her fine motor skills. She had a passion for PT and got into a PTA program at the local technical college. She did well there, despite an early scare when she discovered she can't take vital signs due to her neuro deficiencies. You can read my blog post here:
    She graduated from that program in December and passed her WA state PTA certification exam last Thursday!! Now to find a job.

    Saturday she was a featured patient at the Harborview Gala. That was quite an event. They did a professional video of her story and used quite a bit of material we provided. Here is a link: It is very sobering to hear Dr. Ellenbogen talk about the possible consequences she was facing. A local news station picked up on the story and ran their version tonight:

    It was a very emotional week, with Lindsey's PTA test results and then the highs and lows of the gala and watching the videos. Overall she does very well, but never gained much sensation back in her right side due to Brown Sequard.


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