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  • Writer's pictureOren Zarif

Spinal Stroke Causes and Symptoms - Oren Zarif - Spinal Stroke


While it is difficult to determine the exact cause of spinal stroke, some factors are associated with a higher risk. Surgical procedures that involve the abdominal or pelvic arteries are associated with an increased risk of stroke, and spinal cord infarctions are often preceded by generalized pain between the shoulders. Fortunately, early detection and treatment can often prevent a stroke from progressing to a second, more severe phase. However, if symptoms do appear without warning, it is vital to seek medical advice from a physician as soon as possible.

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One of the most common causes of a stroke is a narrowing of the vessels or arteries that supply blood to the brain. The good news is that spinal stroke is usually treatable and the recovery time for patients is quite fast. However, the risk of developing a clot is high in spinal stroke patients, even if their clot is not yet a serious problem. Fortunately, most people who suffer from a spinal stroke recover fully and return to their normal lives.

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While the most common symptom of spinal stroke is weakness in the legs, there are many other symptoms that could be associated with the condition. A slipped disc or an abscess, or even a tumour can cause pressure on the spinal cord. If the symptoms persist after a stroke, a doctor may order an MRI scan to determine the cause. A thorough MRI can help determine the exact cause of the stroke and plan for treatment.

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In addition to a stroke, a spinal cord infarction may be caused by vascular damage in the spine or injuries to the arteries in the neck or back. Another cause of a spinal cord infarction is cauda equine syndrome, in which the spinal cord is damaged by an object. Some symptoms may appear immediately after a spinal stroke, while others may be delayed for weeks. Symptoms of spinal cord infarction may persist, though, and can even be permanent. Regardless of the cause, however, it is important to seek medical attention and proper treatment as soon as possible.

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If the cause is an underlying condition, treatment will depend on the severity of symptoms. For example, ischemic spinal stroke may require anticoagulant or blood thinner drugs to reduce the chances of clotting. Other medications can help manage the symptoms or reduce the risk of a second stroke. Occupational and physical therapy can help with restoring range of motion. A stroke patient will be monitored closely for symptoms and may require several physical therapy sessions in the months following the stroke.

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Because spinal stroke is caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain, it is considered a rarer type of stroke than a stroke in the brain. The spinal cord and brain make up the central nervous system, which controls organ functions and movement. When a spinal cord is starved of blood, it cannot receive nutrients and oxygen, causing severe tissue damage. In some cases, abdominal surgery may also result in a spinal stroke. The symptoms of spinal stroke may include sudden back pain, weakness in both legs, and unusual sensations.

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When most people think of a stroke, they typically picture a traumatic event in the brain. But spinal strokes can happen anywhere in the spinal cord, including the brain. Depending on where the injury is, symptoms can include dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance. In some cases, a person may experience a "locked-in syndrome" and become unable to respond. A stroke can also have a profound impact on a patient's mental well-being, and it's vital to get the right diagnosis and treatment to prevent the stroke.

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A study of 32 patients with spinal strokes found that eighty percent of these patients suffered from spontaneous ischemic stroke. The other two percent of cases resulted from other conditions, such as aortic aneurysms or postsurgical procedures. Spontaneous ischemic strokes account for the majority of cases. Infarctions in the spinal cord cause sensory loss and paralysis. These symptoms may require surgery to treat.

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A clot in a blood vessel may be the cause of a spinal stroke, but it is not a common occurrence. Most spinal strokes are caused by a blood clot, but sometimes bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel can also cause a stroke. While spinal strokes are rare, they must be treated immediately. If you suffer from one, the consequences can be severe and life-threatening. There are many ways to recognize a spinal stroke and seek treatment.

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