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An uncommon case of post traumatic syringobulbia: a case report

Abdul Rahman, Izzat Zulhilmi and Abu Hassan, Salmah Anim (2021) An uncommon case of post traumatic syringobulbia: a case report. In: Borneo International Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Virtual Conference 2021, 31 July - 1 Aug 2021, Virtual. (Unpublished)

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Background: Syringobulbia is a rare progressive neurological condition characterized by the presence of syrinx or an elongated fluid-filled cavity in the brainstem with multiple possible underlying etiologies. However, to date, only few cases of syringobulbia presenting as a late complication of post-traumatic syringomyelia (PTS) have been reported. Case presentation: We present a case of a 26 year old morbidly obese gentleman with T4 AIS C incomplete spinal cord injury following T7 burst fracture 2 years prior requiring spinal instrumentation. He then experienced implant failure 1 year later, necessitating implant removal. Subsequently, he reported worsening back pain coupled with deterioration in neurology over his left upper and lower limb. In addition to that, pain and muscle spasms over the left upper limb extending up to the left side of his neck, face and head warranted a repeat imaging of the brain and spinal cord . Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed syringobulbia predominantly affecting the left side of the medulla oblongata with an extensive syringomyelia extending from C1 to T12 vertebral level. Moreover , the old T7 fracture site remained malunited. Despite a successful second spinal decompressive surgery and combined rehabilitation, there was no neurological recovery.However the patient described significant improvement in pain and spasms. Conclusions: PTS complicated with syringobulbia, although rare, is one of the causes of the delayed-onset neurological deterioration in spinal cord injured patients. It might be a diagnostic dilemma as some cases exhibit atypical presentations and mimic the pre-existing neurological deficit. Syrinx formation due to alteration of subarachnoid cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow in post-traumatic spinal deformity might benefit from decompressive surgery, avoiding the need for intradural shunt placement, coupled with medication and physical therapy. Even though there was no neurological recovery, symptoms alleviation of neuropathic pain and spasm improved quality of life.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Additional Information: 7400/95849
Uncontrolled Keywords: syringomyelia, syringobulbia, spinal cord injury, paraplegia
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Medicine > Department of Department of Orthopaedics, Traumatology & Rehabilitation
Kulliyyah of Medicine
Date Deposited: 31 Dec 2021 11:51
Last Modified: 31 Dec 2021 11:51
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/95849

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