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Rapidly Deteriorating Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy Following Ventricular Shunt Revision for Hydrocephalus: Case Report.

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A female patient in her early 40s presented with a several-month history of gait unsteadiness and dragging her left leg. She had a background of congenital hydrocephalus, treated with a ventriculoatrial shunt. On examination, she had increased tone and brisk reflexes in the lower limbs and a positive Hoffmann sign. A computed tomography (CT) scan and shunt series x-rays identified hydrocephalus secondary to a disconnected shunt. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of her cervical spine was also performed as part of the workup for her presenting symptoms and demonstrated features compatible with degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM). The patient subsequently underwent a shunt revision. Following the operation, her walking and hand function deteriorated over a period of several weeks. She consequently underwent an anterior cervical decompression and fusion for DCM, which partially improved her symptoms. The sequence of events suggests that the shunt surgery may have precipitated a worsening of the DCM. Possible explanations include spinal cord injury related to neck extension or hypoperfusion during intubation and general anesthesia or the loss of cerebrospinal fluid cushioning following the reinstitution of effective cerebrospinal fluid shunting. Surgeons should be alert to this possibility and offer prompt surgical intervention for DCM if required.



case, cervical, cervical myelopathy, disk, disk herniation, gait, ligament, myelopathy, neck, ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament, spinal, spine, spondylosis, stenosis, woman, women

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Interact J Med Res

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JMIR Publications Inc.
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