Posterior fossa syndrome can occur after neurosurgical resections of childhood posterior fossa tumors, such as medulloblastomas. Posterior fossa syndrome is characterized by transient mutism, emotional lability, cognitive deficits, weakness, ataxia, and cranial nerve dysfunction. Symptoms generally appear 1 to 3 days after surgery and persist for months to years. Neuroscience nurses play an integral role in helping affected children and their families through the diagnosis, treatment, and sequelae of this frightening syndrome.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Diane Schretzman Mortimer, MD MSN CNRN, at Diane.Mortimer@osumc.edu. She is a physical medicine and rehabilitation resident at the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.