Carver RT, Boysel C, Marciniak CM, Nussbaum SB. Myotonic dystrophy presenting as new-onset hand weakness and recurrent pneumonia in a patient with paraplegia: a case report. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004;85:1896-8. We describe a previously independent T11 paraplegic patient who had delayed-onset hand weakness and recurrent pneumonia caused by myotonic dystrophy. A man in his late thirties suffered a thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI) from a gunshot wound at the age of 17 years, with resultant T11 American Spinal Injury Association class A paraplegia. He lived independently until the age of 36 years when he was hospitalized multiple times for pneumonia. During a rehabilitation stay after one of the acute hospitalizations, the patient's hand weakness and diffuse muscular atrophy were noted. Electrodiagnostic testing was performed, which showed myotonic discharges. Genetic testing was consistent with myotonic dystrophy. This case shows the importance of considering causes of weakness that affect the population as a whole when evaluating a patient with SCI who presents with delayed-onset weakness.
- Case report
- Myotonic dystrophy
- Spinal cord injuries
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation