Send to

Choose Destination
Emerg Radiol. 2011 Jan;18(1):57-60. doi: 10.1007/s10140-010-0913-8. Epub 2010 Oct 7.

Surfer's myelopathy--an unusual cause of acute spinal cord ischemia: a case report and review of the literature.

Author information

Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Hamilton General Hospital, Hamilton Health Science, McMaster University, 237 Barton St. East, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Surfer's myelopathy is an emergent medical condition, representing a rare type of nontraumatic injury of the spinal cord, triggered by continued hyperextension of the back in inexperienced surfers. Subsequent acute spinal cord ischemia is the main pathological "substrate" for extensive cord myelopathy, determining potential neurological damage and thus predicting a patient's outcome. Awareness of the regional vascular anatomy and correct interpretation of the radiological findings are essential in making a precise diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging is an accurate and sensitive modality to identify early ischemic changes, particularly if diffusion-weighted images are initially performed. We report a case of 23-year-old male in whom the diagnosis of surfer's myelopathy was made based on an appropriate clinical history and imaging findings compatible with acute spinal cord ischemia. We also discuss miscellaneous pathological conditions, causing acute myelopathy, which can mimic clinical signs or/and imaging appearance of this rare, but potentially disabling disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center