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Thread: T10/11 w/Brown-Sequard

  1. #1

    Cool T10/11 w/Brown-Sequard

    Hi all.

    In mid May 2005 i experienced a spontaneous rupture of the T10/11 disc which caused spinal cord brusing and inflamation, and Brown-Sequard syndrome. I lost function in my left leg and sensation in my right. This syndrome affects my legs, genitals, and anus and ends just at my hips.

    I have regained substantial function in my left leg and am able to walk unassisted. I still have no pinprick or temp sensation in my right leg (etc.) but I never lost function or strength. I have begun to experience lots of "burning" in my right leg however and in the last week or so it seems that I have lost some strength in that leg and have noticed my knee buckling when I exhaust the leg during PT or exercise. Does anyone know if this is a normal Brown-Sequard development?

    I am also interested to find out a little about bowel function. I am able to have a BM without any type of laxitive now (not the case the first 2 months) but I still can not feel the pressure of the stool until it becomes excessive (sometimes 3-4 days). I'm not so worried about accidents but would be interested to find out if anyone has any suggestions as to exercises or sensory improvement techniques to help me get things moving on a regular basis.

  2. #2
    Brown-Sequard syndrome is most often seen with cervical injuries, but can occur at any level of the cord. Did you have surgery to decompress the cord? Have you had any CTs or MRIs to determine if the compression was fully relieved? Do you have a good SCI physician (physiatrist)? Did you have rehab at a SCI rehab center?

    I know of no exercise that can return bowel function. Setting up an appropriate and functional bowel program should have occured in your rehab program. I would recommend first starting with an every other day bowel program unless you are having accidents. I would strongly recommend downloading and reading in detail the booklet by the Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine called Neurogenic Bowel: What you should know which you can get from the PVA at this URL:

    In order to help you with your bowel program, we would need to know:
    -all your meds
    -details about your current routine (including timing, techniques, etc.)
    -how much fluid you drink daily and what type
    -your diet, esp. how many gm. of fiber you get daily

    You can share here or through private messages if you desire.


  3. #3
    I did have surgery to decompess the cord which was quite successful. At this time I am only taking one 7.5 hydorcodone and one methacarbamol (can't remember dose) twice a day. I know they both can cause constipation, but I have been on that combination of drugs for quite some time to deal with other health issues and never experienced these bowel problems before.

    I have not had a CT or MRI since immediately after the surgery. My surgeon seems impressed by the speed and degree of my recovery and apparently felt no need for additional images.

    I was in a rehab facility, though not a SCI facility, for a short period until I was able to walk with a walker and take care of my basic needs. No one ever addressed my bowel problems at that time because they all assumed that they were caused by the drugs. My doc there was a general rehab physician and I have not talked to a psyciatrist.

    I currently am exercising every other day for about an hour. I eat a regular diet but have swithched to whole grain breads. I eat extra fruit mid morning and mid afternoon. I drink 6-10 glasses of water everyday and an occasional soda and an occasional beer or five.

    As far as BM timing i simply give it a sit and relax and try every mid morning. I am not using any additional techniques or laxitives, stool softeners, or enemas. I was using stool softeners and oral laxitives but they were not actually helping (the frequency was about the same) and only caused me to feel more bloated. If I reached 4 days without a movement I would use a suppository and that would always work but I don't like using them on a regular basis. I still keep them on hand lest I reach the fourth day.

    I am not as worried about the bowel problems (although they are of some concern) as I am about the burning and strength issues in my leg. I also experienced (once) some pain in my right thigh (the one with the sensory loss) and wondered if the pain loss (pinprick) on that leg was only on the surface or if the appearance of this pain is more associated with reemergence of function.
    Last edited by Spinalbreakdown; 08-09-2005 at 06:46 PM. Reason: additional info

  4. #4
    Just a thought. You may have pulled or strained a muscle in that leg. I also have Brown Sequard and can't feel pain, hot/cold, etc. that well in my right leg. When I have hurt, cut, strained that leg it shows up as kind of a "burning" sensation.

  5. #5
    Thanks GVinton. I regularly have burning sensations in my "numb" leg but this was different. It was distinctly located in one of my thigh muscles and if felt like a plain old pulled muscle. I had not been doing anything especially strenuous prior to feeling the sensation so I don't think I actually strained it. I do have constant pain in one muscle just at and above the level of sensation loss. This muscle runs down into my thigh and although I fell no pain there (below the level of loss), I think it might be the same muscle that I felt the pain sensation. Hence my confusion because I would think I would either always feel the pain below the level or never feel it.

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