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Trauma may result in Brown-Séquard syndrome

Colorado residents may know a sudden injury to the back or neck might result in a syndrome called Brown-Séquard. This syndrome causes a loss of sensory input, muscle weakness and paralysis. Prompt diagnosis may help in treating the symptoms; however, permanent injury might occur.

A trauma to the head and neck might precipitate this problem. It may result from a slip and fall injury, or it can follow a car accident. In such cases, the spinal cord is not separated but damaged. Symptoms occur below the injury.

The symptoms of such spinal cord injuries begin with the loss of sensation, primarily temperature and pain. Muscles may weaken and atrophy. In addition, paralysis might result. Problems with bowel and bladder control may also occur. A prompt diagnosis is key to treating the symptoms. While bowel and bladder function improves in a large number of patients, residual effects ensue. These include loss of muscle strength. Therapy aimed at strengthening lower extremity muscles is important. Orthotics such as braces or the use of a wheelchair may lend support. Many individuals may be able to walk with appropriate therapy, depending on the severity of the injury. An individual who develops this syndrome after an accident faces hospital stays and may require medical intervention to maintain breathing, especially initially. Rehabilitative therapy aimed at restoring function follows. In some patients, the ability to control body functions does not return, and others have permanent loss of motor function.

If the injury was caused by a negligent driver, the motorist may be held liable for financial damage resulting from the accident. Consulting an attorney may be helpful to the injured victim in proving negligence. The attorney, after reviewing the case, may file a personal injury lawsuit to recover pecuniary damages.

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