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Surfer's myelopathy

Surfer's myelopathy is a rare nontraumatic injury causing paraplegia which is paralysis below the waist.[1] It is a spinal cord injury caused by hyperextension of the back. When the back is hyperextended, a blood vessel leading to the spine can become kinked, depriving the spinal cord of oxygen[2] The condition gets its name because the phenomenon is most often seen in those surfing for the first time, but it can be caused by any activity in which the back is hyperextended (yoga, pilates, etc.). In some cases the paralysis is permanent.[3]

Surfer's myelopathy
Blausen 0822 SpinalCord.png
Spinal cord


According to DPT Sergio Florian, some recommendations for preventing myelopathy is proper warm up, limiting the session length and sitting on the board while waiting for waves, rather than lying.[3]


A case series of 19 novice surfers with nontraumatic myelopathy was published in 2012, with all patients' MRI scans showing hyperintensity from the lower thoracic spinal cord to the conus medullaris.[4] An additional study of 23 cases was published in 2013.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hawkes, Christopher H.; Sethi, Kapil D.; Swift, Thomas R. (2016-03-29). Instant Neurological Diagnosis: A Companion to Neurobowl. Oxford University Press. p. 286. ISBN 9780190206284. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  2. ^ Harrigan, Mark R.; Deveikis, John P. (2013). Handbook of Cerebrovascular Disease and Neurointerventional Technique (2nd ed.). New York: Humana Press. p. 816. doi:10.1007/978-1-61779-946-4. ISBN 9781617799457. LCCN 2012945195.
  3. ^ a b Rode, Matt (2016-07-25). "Beginner Surfer Left Paralysed after Suffering Rare Surfer's Myelopathy". Archived from the original on 2019-04-28. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  4. ^ Chang CW, Donovan DJ, Liem LK, O'Phelan KH, Green DM, Bassin S, Asai S (2012). "Surfers' myelopathy: a case series of 19 novice surfers with nontraumatic myelopathy". Neurology. 79 (22): 2171–6. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31827595cd. PMID 23152585.
  5. ^ Nakamoto, B. K.; Siu, A. M.; Hashiba, K. A.; Sinclair, B. T.; Baker, B. J.; Gerber, M. S.; McMurtray, A. M.; Pearce, A. M.; Pearce, J. W. (2013-12-01). "Surfer's Myelopathy: A Radiologic Study of 23 Cases". American Journal of Neuroradiology. 34 (12): 2393–2398. doi:10.3174/ajnr.A3599. ISSN 0195-6108. PMC 4326257. PMID 23828111.

Further readingEdit