Traumatic cervical brown-sequard and brown-sequard-plus syndromes: The spectrum of presentations and outcomes

E. J. Roth*, T. Park, T. Pang, G. M. Yarkony, M. Y. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Brown-Sequard syndrome (BSS) and Brown-Sequard-plus syndrome (BSPS) are characterised by asymmetrical paresis with hypalgesia more marked on the less paretic side. This study examined the clinical features of 38 patients (30 males and 8 females; mean age=32 years) with traumatic cervical BSS or BSPS who underwent comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation. Twenty two injuries were caused by road traffic accidents, 8 by penetrating injuries, 5 by diving injuries, and 3 by other causes. After an average of 35 days in acute care and 79 days in rehabilitation, 37 patients had increased muscle strength, all 38 patients improved functional abilities, 29 patients walked independently, 34 had spontaneous bladder emptying, 36 were discharged home, and 14 were employed. Statistically significant increases (p<0.001) were made in modified Barthel index functional scores between admission and discharge. Patients with BSPS had a better prognosis than did those with ‘pure’ BSS. Patients with predominant upper limb weakness had more favourable outcomes than did those with predominant lower limb weakness. Few other potentially predictive demographic, injury, or neurological factors were associated with functional outcome. Patients with BSS or BSPS generally have a good prognosis for neurological and functional improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)582-589
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1991


  • Brown-Sequard syndrome
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Tetraplegia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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