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Surfer's Myelopathy-Demonstrated by Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Case Report and Literature Review

Lieske, Jonathan MD, MPH*; Cameron, Brian MD; Drinkwine, Benjamin MD*; Goretzke, Sean MD; Alemi, Lily MD§; Needham, Kenneth MD; Ventura, John MD, MPH; Ho, Van Thong MD*; La Barge, Donald V. III MD*

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: July-August 2011 - Volume 35 - Issue 4 - p 492-494
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e31821e277b

The authors present a case of "surfer's myelopathy," a rarely described syndrome characterized by nontraumatic paraparesis/paraplegia in novice surfers and theorized to result from spinal cord ischemia secondary to surfing-related positional hyperextension. Imaging and clinical course of the youngest known affected individual are discussed, including evidence of acute spinal cord infarction on diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, a finding not previously described in the literature.

From the *Departments of Radiology, †Neurosurgery, and ‡Pediatric Neurology, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Portsmouth, VA; §Department of Family Medicine, Riverside Regional Medical Center, Newport News, VA; ∥Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and ¶Emergency Medicine, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Portsmouth, VA.

Received for publication March 21, 2011; accepted April 5, 2011.

Reprints: Jonathan Lieske, MD, MPH, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, 620 John Paul Jones Circle, Portsmouth, VA 23708-2197 (e-mail:

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the United States Government. The authors are military service members/employees of the US Government.

This work was prepared as part of official duties. Title 17 USC 105 provides that "Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government." Title 17 USC 101 defines a United States Government work as a work prepared by a military service member or employee of the US Government as part of that person's official duties.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.