C3-C4 cervical disc herniation producing Brown-Séquard syndrome: A case report and review of the literature

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The American journal of emergency medicine




Brown-Séquard syndrome; Cervical spine; Disc herniation; Disc replacement


Brown-Séquard Syndrome (BSS) is a rare form of incomplete spinal cord injury and is characterized by ipsilateral motor deficit and contralateral sensory loss. BSS is commonly associated with traumatic etiologies, but non-traumatic causes should be considered as well. A 38-year-old woman presented with a 3-week history of weakness in her right upper extremity, and she has developed numbness and tingling in her left upper and lower extremities over the past week and a half, along with some motor difficulty. Imaging showed a large right paracentral disc protrusion at the C3-C4 level causing severe spinal canal narrowing and resulting in abnormal cord signal. The patient subsequently underwent a C3-4 cervical total disk replacement. Hemovac placed during surgery was removed on post-op day one, and she was re-evaluated by PT/OT and recommended for outpatient therapies on post-op day two. Our case, along with a review of the literature, highlights those non-traumatic causes of BSS should be considered as a cause of BSS. BSS produced by a herniated cervical disc is extremely rare and is often misdiagnosed.


Emergency Medicine