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Traumatic Brown-Séquard syndrome: modern reminder of a neurological injury

Abstract

Brown-Séquard syndrome (BSS) presents as an ipsilateral loss of motor function, proprioception and vibratory sensation accompanied by contralateral pain and temperature loss two to three levels below the level of the injury. It is one of the syndromes associated with incomplete transection of the spinal cord. Classic BSS is rare as most patients present with mixed neurological deficits related to damage of the spinal cord and surrounding structures. BSS remains prevalent in areas with high trauma burden, where assaults with sharp weapons are common. We present the case of a man aged 38 years who sustained a stab injury to the left back. BSS was diagnosed. He underwent removal of the weapon in the operating room and had an uneventful recovery to near baseline functional level after a course of rehabilitation. Despite being a rare aetiology, BSS continues to be an excellent reminder to trauma providers of the anatomy and physiology of neuroanatomical tracts.

  • neurological injury
  • trauma CNS /PNS
  • neurosurgery
  • spinal cord

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