Neurofibromatosis is a difficult condition to treat and usually involves multiple surgeries throughout a patient's lifetime. Cutaneous and plexiform fibromas, café-au-lait spots, and optic gliomas are common findings in this hereditary condition. Diagnosis is made through physical examination, magnetic resonance imaging, and family history. The patient described in this article presented with weakness and numbness in her extremities due to spinal cord compression. Continued research on this condition is needed to halt progression and search for a cure. Nurses play a key role in helping patients adjust to this lifetime burden.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Susan Milliken, RNC CNRN, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is a CNIII (assistant manager) on the Neuroscience Step-Down Unit at Morton Plant Hospital, Clearwater, FL.