The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Leatherman Spine in Louisville and Southern Indiana are skilled at treating spinal AVM (arteriovenous malformation).
Spinal AVM refers to a group of conditions where there is a tangle of blood vessels in, on or around the spinal cord.
Usually, oxygen-rich blood goes into the spinal cord through arteries and tiny vessels called capillaries. Once the oxygen is deposited in the spinal cord, the blood passes into veins that take it back to the lungs to get more oxygen. If a spinal vascular malformation is present, the blood skips the capillaries and goes straight from the artery to the vein.
If the blood flow is interrupted in this way, the cells do not get oxygen and will break down and die. Sometimes the arteries and veins in a spinal vascular malformation can break (hemorrhage) and cause bleeding in the spinal cord, or press on the spinal cord, leading to disability, pain or other issues.
Spinal AVM Symptoms
Symptoms are different from person to person and can depend on the severity and location of the tangle. Sometimes symptoms appear when the patient is in their 20s, although occasionally symptoms can appear in younger people.
Symptoms can appear suddenly or gradually. As the condition progresses, symptoms tend to get worse. They include:
- Difficulty walking and climbing stairs
- Numbness, tingling or pain in the legs
- Sudden severe back pain
- Weakness on one or both sides of the body
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
Your Norton Leatherman Spine specialist may perform a spinal angiogram, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) or other scan to show what the blood vessels look like and where the spinal vascular malformation is.
At Norton Leatherman Spine, you’ll get a personalized course of action for your condition.