I have a Patient with ALS - Question?

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country doc

New member
Mar 14, 2007
Maple Valley
My patients says he was healthy and strong until he had a work related accident involving his lower neck and upper back (C7-T3). Using high definition CT scans, I found a fracture in the posterior-lateral column of T2 and evidence of a broad based spinal cord lesion at that level.

Question: Does anyone know of ALS cases which are associated with trauma to the lower cervical or upper thoracic spine as a possible cause?
Hi Doc and welcome. I think I remember seeing something about injury preceding an ALS DX back in one of the other threads. If you do a search in the field at the top of this site you might get a couple of leads...Good luck. Cindy
Hi country doc

Hi country doc, I remember iluvmysoldier502 started a post sometime ago "how old". You may find intersting. There are others too about Trauma and ALS have to search. My Best to you, Beebe
Hi Country Doc,

The association of a higher incidence of ALS with soccer players is well documented; they have repeated minor head trauma. In my own case, symptoms began several months after diving head first into a rock at night. This was in 1994. I didn't break anything, although I wore a neck brace for several weeks after, but the treating physician told me I was very lucky not to be in a wheelchair and that I could expect to have considerable arthritis in that area later in life. His prediction of arthritis has come true and, ironically, I am now in a scooter. I have always wondered if my ALS wasn't triggered by the trauma to my neck.
My mother was in a car accident and injured her left knee about six years before being diagnosed (Dec 2006) with ALS She had symptoms (muscle cramps, tingling) from appox. summer of 2004, and was diagnosed with foot drop (left leg) Dec 2005. I've wondered many times if the car accident didn't trigger something.
Another thought - since the average age of ALS diagnosed is between 40-60, is it possible that people that don't have symptoms until their 70's develop ALS due to trauma? At least, more often than the 40-60 age group. If only we could find a few answers to these many questions! My mother is currently 76
Hi, I Am Just On Here Trying To Find Out Info, And Come Upon This.. My Husbands Grandmother Was Just Dx With Als 2 Weeks Ago, And About 7-8 Years Ago She Was In An Accident And Broke Her Back, And Had Surgery... She Recovered Fine, And Now This... She Is 77 Years Old, And It Is Very Interesting Wandering If Tramua Had Anything To Do With It..
Hi Doc-

My mom (61) broke her foot and then fell off of crutches and broke her wrist Sept 05. After healing from those injuries she felt pretty good for aprox. 2 months. She then started developing minor symptoms of ALS. She was diagnosed Sept. 06. She feels there's a connection.

Shannon M.
hello doc

Me to I had rotator c uff surgery , two months later I was having
als bulbar symtoms. I was 59 when dig. now 60 on bibap and
peg. can still eat mostly hwat I want.

Hi Doc. Welcome. At various times we've had this discussion and there are quite a few of us that have suffered head trauma at some point in our lives. I looked in the search feature and couldn't find the particular thread so it probably started as one thing and grew into something else. Happens once in a while here.
Hello doc my name is Donna and I recently lost my husband to ALS. He had problems with C4, C3, & C2 all were laying on top of each other. Doctor said he needed an operation (lumbar fusion) but.... 9.5 hours on anesthesia (please excuse the spelling) caused the ALS to become full blow operation 1-3-2006 died 12-6-2006. Just be real careful anesthesia acts as an accelerant for ALS why I dont know and still would like an answer to that. Need more info just let me know Ben was 65 and he also had a heart transplant heart transplant was perfect even when he died they tested the heart perfect.

New Jersey
I have anklosing spongelitis (wants to fuse my back) a reumatory arthitis condition. I have had this condition since I was 18 and have used celebrex to treat along with other pain killers. I think this has lead to my als, my back has hurt badly since 18 years old and now I am 34.

I never had trauma of any kind and I have ALS.

My father had 2 accidents (falls) towards the beginning of the onslaught of symptoms which were later identified as ALS. When I look back, I see that it is difficult to tell if these accidents were caused by early ALS, which can cause imbalance and uncoordination, or perhaps were the triggers for the start of ALS. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The first time he fell, he landed on his shoulder while carrying some heavy boxes. Strangely, his legs were also affected, and he had difficulty walking. I didn't understand how a shoulder injury could cause such weakness in the legs. He went to physical therapy and began a regimen of exercises which resulted in eventual improvement, such that he was walking well after several months. Since ALS is not known to improve, I have no idea if this incident was related to his diagnosis 4 years later or simply coincidental. The second accident happened about a year and a half after the first. Dad tripped and hit his head on a brick wall (also carrying boxes for his store). A few months after that, his backbone seemed to keel over on itself, he could not hold up his head, and his hips were swayed such that he was walking very unsteadily. He was told he had osteoporosis, though a bone density test only showed some loss of bone mass. To me, it appeared the problem had been caused by the head injury, since it happened so soon after it. However, it may be that ALS was the real cause of both the accident and the back problem. As his back muscles were atrophying, they could no longer support the structure of his neck and backbone. The confirmation of his ALS diagnosis came just 2 months before he died.
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