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Surfers Myelopathy- Rare Surfing Spinal Injury

Updated on October 6, 2010

Surfers Myelopathy is a rare spinal injury that afflicts surfers, generally after their first lesson. Symptoms include low back pain, weak legs, inability to urinate. Over an hour or so they will have varying degrees of weakness and sometimes complete paraplegia. Surfer's Myelopathy is not an injury due to trauma or an accident. It is a spinal stroke caused by interrupted blood flow to the spine when the cord is hyperextended. While there is no medication or surgery to treat surfer's myelopathy, many patients do recover with time and physical therapy.

A surfer has a better chance of being biten by a shark than being stricken with surfer's myelopathy. But it is believed that early treatment helps to speed recovery.

If you are surfing and experience unusual stiffness or pain in your back or numbness in your legs or feet, seek medical attention immediately.

"Medical Mysteries" tonight at 10 pm ET on ABC will be featuring this injury.


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      jake 5 years ago

      Andrew Martinez is beast