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Charlotte Attorneys for Brown-Sequard Syndrome

Brown-Sequard syndrome is a rare neurological disorder caused by an incomplete lesion on the spinal cord. The lesion or wound on the spinal cord causes weakness and paralysis, also known as hemiparaplegia. Those diagnosed with this syndrome experience paralysis on one side of the body and a loss of sensation called hemianesthesia on the other side of the body. There are multiple causes of Brown-Sequard syndrome, with spinal cord injuries as a leading cause.

Understanding Brown-Sequard Syndrome

This rare medical condition happens when the information coming to and from the brain is "flipped" to the wrong side. Typically, the left side of the brain controls and receives information from the right side of the body and vice versa. In Brown-Sequard syndrome, the fibers become damaged. Doctor Charles Édouard Brown-Séquard discovered the phenomenon in 1850. He studied farmers who became injured while cutting sugar canes. Most suffered a traumatic injury to the back. He discovered that the wound must sever only half of the spinal cord to cause Brown-Sequard syndrome.

Causes of Brown-Sequard Syndrome

Brown-Sequard syndrome can be caused by several different factors. The following are common causes of Brown-Sequard syndrome:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • A spinal cord tumor
  • Trauma to the spinal cord caused by a puncture wound to the back or neck
  • Ischemia or obstruction of a blood vessel
  • Inflammatory or infectious diseases such as multiple sclerosis or tuberculosis
  • Workplace accidents
  • Medical malpractice
Difficulties Faced by Those with Brown-Sequard Syndrome

Brown-Sequard syndrome is an incredibly rare but painful disorder. The most common symptoms are partial paralysis on one side of the body and a loss of sensation on the other side of the body. Other symptoms include a loss of bowel control and a loss of sensory function. MRIS, X-Rays, and CT scans are all necessary to accurately diagnose the condition. Many people with Brown-Sequard syndrome are wrongly diagnosed.

Not only do those diagnosed with Brown-Sequard syndrome suffer paralysis, they also suffer from a loss of sensation. Many people with Brown-Sequard syndrome are unable to live fully independent lives due to their partial paralysis. Additionally, many diagnosed with Brown-Sequard syndrome have a difficult time sensing temperature changes due to their lack of sensation.

Unfortunately, when just half of the spinal cord becomes damaged, the symptoms can become painful and difficult to manage. When spinal cord fibers are interrupted, individuals can experience the following symptoms:

  • Vibration
  • Light touch
  • Proprioception or a feeling that the body is in place
  • Pain
  • Lost temperature sensation

Infections and inflammation can make living with Brown-Sequard syndrome even worse.

Treatment for Brown-Sequard Syndrome

The treatment course for Brown-Sequard syndrome depends on the underlying cause of the disorder. For some individuals, doctors treat the problem with high-dose steroids. In many cases, however, the main course of treatment is to support the patient to be as functional as possible. A medical team will treat symptoms as they arise.

Brown-Sequard Syndrome and Medical Malpractice

The condition is so rare that it might not be readily apparent to those in the medical community. Doctors might misdiagnose these symptoms as merely being quadriplegia or tetraplegia, not Brown-Sequard syndrome. When medical professionals do not accurately diagnose or treat Brown-Sequard syndrome, and they make your injury worse, you may be entitled to compensation. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, you can bring a lawsuit against the medical professional whose negligent treatment or acts caused or exacerbated your injury. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are ready to assist you in evaluating whether your Brown-Sequard Syndrome is a result of or has been worsened by medical malpractice.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Car accidents and injuries to the spine are the most common cause of Brown-Sequard syndrome. Under North Carolina law, when one person's negligence or recklessness causes your injury, they are financially responsible for that injury. For example, if someone engaged in violence against the plaintiff and caused Brown-Sequard syndrome, the aggressor is legally responsible for the damages caused by the injury.

Likewise, when the defendant's reckless driving caused the injury that resulted in Brown-Sequard syndrome, the injured party has a right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant. If you or your loved one have been diagnosed with Brown-Sequard syndrome, we recommend speaking with a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we have the trial experience necessary to fight hard for your rights. Contact our skilled personal injury lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.

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