Acute on chronic cervical myelopathy causing cervical segmental myoclonus in a high-level wheelchair athlete: a case report.

Journal: Spinal Cord Series And Cases

Introduction: This is a 20-year-old wheelchair athlete with history of caudal regression syndrome and cervical canal stenosis who developed spinal segmental myoclonus following routine intubation for an elective procedure. Case presentation: This patient is a 20-year-old man with history of caudal regression syndrome and chronic cervical stenosis. He is a high-level wheelchair racer and paralympic hopeful. This patient initially presented 18 months prior with shoulder abduction weakness. He was found to have cervical stenosis at C4, C5 on MRI. Neurosurgical treatment was not needed at that time as symptoms resolved. On this encounter, he presented for an elective urologic surgical procedure. Glidescope intubation was performed with notable cervical extension. In the Post Anesthesia Care Unit, the patient began experiencing twitching movements in his pectoral muscles bilaterally as well as left deltoid and biceps. His findings were consistent with myoclonus due to his cervical myelopathy. He was initially started on levetiracetam, but experienced dizziness. His symptoms were finally controlled with clonazepam. Neurosurgery performed cord decompression and fusion with resolution of his symptoms. Discussion: There are few cases of myoclonus secondary to myelopathy documented in literature. The current recommended treatments, levetiracetam and/or benzodiazepines, were successful in managing the myoclonus in this patient. However, cord decompression is necessary to avoid progression of myelopathic symptoms. In conclusion, myoclonus can be a presenting symptom of myelopathy and warrants further investigation, especially in patients with known spinal cord or vertebral pathology.

Noël Pristas, Karl Klamar, Jonathan Napolitano, Nathan Rosenberg

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