Spinal Cord Infarction, Spinal Stroke Causes Sudden Onset of Paralysis

Spinal cord infarction, aka spinal stroke, is a relatively rare type of stroke that often causes a sudden onset of paralysis. An infarction is tissue death due to the lack of oxygen.

With this health condition, spinal tissue death is caused by some sort of blockage within an artery that supplies blood to your spinal cord. The resulting paralysis from a spinal stroke depends on where along your spinal cord you suffered the infarction. Essentially, all movement controlled below the blocked area will be affected.

Although the hallmark symptom of spinal cord infarction is the sudden onset of paralysis, you may experience some symptoms beforehand. These symptoms may include:

For some, these warning symptoms may occur for mere minutes before the sudden onset of paralysis or evolve slowly over a period of time.

Any event that interrupts blood flow to your spinal cord can cause a spinal infarct. A variety of health conditions can be the underlying cause or increase your risk for a spinal stroke, like:

Frequently a spinal cord infarction is caused by arteriosclerosis.

There are no treatments that will reverse the spinal cord damage suffered from a spinal stroke. You may regain some degree of functioning once inflammation subsides. Your disability can be significant with a high risk of death caused by future:

Your sudden onset of paralysis may be permanent, leaving you paraplegic or quadriplegic. However, some do recover to varying degrees.