Posttraumatic syringomyelia may present months to years after a spinal cord injury.15 This process produces a cystic cavitation of the central cord that may extend over several levels. Ascending sensory level (i.e., a decrease or loss of sensation above the preexisting sensory level) and pain are the most common presenting symptoms. Motor weakness, a change in spasticity, and a change in deep-tendon reflexes may also be seen. Magnetic resonance imaging is the imaging study of choice for making the diagnosis of syringomyelia. Surgery is indicated in progressive neurologic deterioration.
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