Symptoms of Spinal Stroke and Its Treatment Method

Spinal Stroke Causes

Also termed as spinal cord infarction, spinal stroke is a condition wherein there is an obstruction in the blood flow within the spinal cord. Usually, there is only a single artery supplying blood in the spinal cord. Thus, any blockage in this artery can result to immediate blood supply in this area causing spinal stroke.

The following conditions are the usual causes of this:

  • Aortic diseases – Because the arteries that supply blood into the spinal cord come from the aorta, when this vessel is damaged, it results to spinal stroke. When the wall of the damaged arteries places pressure on the arteries of the spinal cord, abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs.
  • Inflammation of the arteries – Arteritis or artery inflammation can cause blockage to smaller arteries at some extent. Spinal cord arteritis can occur due to diabetes mellitus, granulomatous arteritis or systemic lupus erethematosus. In addition to that, conditions such as syphilis and polyarteritis nodosa can also cause spinal arteries to inflame.
  • Pressure – Force or stress due to an abscess or tumor in the spinal cord can hinder good blood circulation which can result to stroke.
  • Hypotension – When the body experiences decreased blood pressure, spinal arteries may not obtain enough blood supply. In turn, it can cause spinal stroke.

Spinal Stroke Symptoms

Symptoms of this condition depend on the affected part. The chief symptoms include:

  • Leg muscle weakness
  • Troubles with the bladder and bowel.
  • Severe pain
  • Sensation changes in the body’s lower half.

Generally, spinal stroke symptoms occur suddenly. The torso is where these symptoms start, and then going down. The leg muscle weakness can become severe and leads to paralysis. Furthermore, listed below are some of the unusual symptoms one can experience with spinal stroke:

  • Inability to determine object temperature.
  • Severe sensitivity to temperature and touch.
  • Constant tingling or burning feeling.
  • Numbness

What are the Treatment for Spinal Stroke

Certain medications can be administered to make the blood less viscous or prevent the formation of blood clots if the spinal stroke is due to ischemia or obstruction. Also, patients with high cholesterol levels and elevated blood pressure can be given with drugs to control these.

Because the occurrence of spinal stroke is unique in each individual, the mode of treatment would depend on the patient’s manifestations. Symptomatic mode is often the treatment choice for spinal stroke. Hence, complications and symptoms are managed as they arise.

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