advertisement
Updated 22 May 2015

Transverse myelitis

Transverse myelitis is inflammation of part of the spinal cord.

0

Description

Transverse myelitis refers to an inflammation of a segment of the spinal cord. It may occur alone or in combination with demyelination in other parts of the nervous system. Onset of the disorder is sudden.

Cause

Transverse myelitis may be caused by viral infections, spinal cord injuries, immune reactions or insufficient blood flow through the blood vessels in the spinal cord. It may also occur as a complication of such disorders as optic neuromyelitis, multiple sclerosis, smallpox, measles or chickenpox.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include back pain, weakness of the legs, numbness and tingling in the lower part of the body, and bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction.

Prognosis

In general, recovery from transverse myelitis is dependent on its cause and varies from good to poor. Recovery may take several months to occur.

Some individuals may have minor or no deficits, while others may have significant motor sensory, and sphincter (bowel) deficits. Some individuals show no recovery at all.

Treatment

Treatment is also dependent on the specific cause of the myelitis. Inflammatory conditions (like multiple sclerosis) may respond to steroid therapy.

Reviewed by Dr Andrew Rose-Innes, MD, Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven.

 
advertisement

Get a quote

advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Up for grabs »

Win with NuSeed Win with MySmartkid Win a Canderel hamper

Win a LED 3D smart TV

Stand a chance of winning a Samsung UA55H8000 Smart 55 inch Curved LED TV valued at R20 000 from Save Hyper!

Medical marijuana »

'I used cannabis oil to cure my cancer' Could your doctor could be high? Dagga in medicine?

Medicinal dagga: the dangers can't be ignored

There is not sufficient evidence to support the potential medicinal benefit from cannabis use cautions an academic from Stellenbosch University.