Spinal cord injuries are one of the leading causes of health care complications in men. For many men, the neurological complications associated with a spinal cord injury often result in loss of mobility, increase in chronic pain syndromes and complications involving disability and the development of secondary psychological conditions.
For many men, a complication known as Brown-Sequard syndrome is quite common and is acquired in response to a traumatic spinal cord injury event. Statistically, men, usually Caucasion, in early adulthood, suffer from Brown-Sequard syndrome in response to a spinal cord injury such as a gunshot wound or puncture wound although, in some cases, the complication may be attributed to infection.
In the traumatic spinal cord injury that results in Brown-Sequard syndrome, the patient experiences a compression of the spinal column resulting in loss of sensation and loss of mobility. What makes Brown-Sequard syndrome so unique is the adverse impact to which the injury affects the patient.
In many cases, the complication results in loss of sensation and paralysis to the side of the spinal column that was affected while, to the other side of the body the patient may only realize a loss in the sensation of pain and loss in regulating bodily temperature to the affected region. On the side opposing the injury, loss of mobility, or paralysis, is not experienced leaving many men to continue with some form of mobility unilaterally.
Brown-Sequard syndrome is considered a permanent complication resulting from permanent spinal cord compression. Even with the best of surgeries, it is rare that total restoration of sensation and function can be achieved. For this reason, when diagnosed with Brown-Sequard syndrome, in response to a traumatic back injury, the patient will require a life long treatment plan utilizing not only the neurologist but also an orthopedic specialist, occupational therapist and even physical therapist. Steroids can be administered in the acute phase of treatment to improve overall healing and reduction in swelling.
As with any spinal cord injury, the key to your recovery lies in the early intervention and treatment. While most cases of spinal cord injury that result in Brown-Sequard syndrome lead to irreversible neurological damage, the application of surgery, steroids, physical therapy and occupational therapy can all work to provide some restoration to function. In many cases, men who suffer from this complication will realize optimal healing and recovery within 24 months of injury. Beyond 24 months, no additional improvement can be expected.