from Dr Long
From: Donlin Long
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 12:27 PM
To: Donlin Long
Subject: FW: Tarlov cysts and nerve damage
I got your note and I can give you the following information. I think the evidence is overwhelming that permanent nerve injury can occur from the cyst. We do not know the frequency yet, but it must be relatively rare. However, I can identify a group of patients who have lost bowel and bladder control and in whom the cyst is the only possible cause. I have several patients who actually have been reduced to a wheelchair from loss of function. We have about 200 patients in whom we can prove a relationship between the Tarlov cyst and symptoms and signs. We have about 500 total patients in our series now. The problem is that large numbers of them have some evidence of nerve damage with bowel and bladder dysfunction, but those with really serious nerve dysfunction are rare. We have no more than five or six who are wheelchair bound or have severe loss of bowel and bladder function; however, at least 1/3 have some evidence of nerve injury so while serious injury is rare, some evidence of injury is not rare. It certainly can occur. I would be happy to talk to the patient by telephone if they would like to discuss the situation.
Don M. Long, M.D., Ph.D.