What are the types of incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI)?

Updated: Nov 01, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence S Chin, MD, FACS, FAANS; Chief Editor: Brian H Kopell, MD  more...
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Anterior cord syndrome involves a lesion causing variable loss of motor function and pain and/or temperature sensation, with preservation of proprioception.

Brown-Séquard syndrome, which is often associated with a hemisection lesion of the cord, involves a relatively greater ipsilateral loss of proprioception and motor function, with contralateral loss of pain and temperature sensation.

Central cord syndrome usually involves a cervical lesion, with greater motor weakness in the upper extremities than in the lower extremities, with sacral sensory sparing. The pattern of motor weakness shows greater distal involvement in the affected extremity than proximal muscle weakness. Sensory loss is variable, and the patient is more likely to lose pain and/or temperature sensation than proprioception and/or vibration. Dysesthesias, especially those in the upper extremities (eg, sensation of burning in the hands or arms), are common.

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