Definition of Syphilitic myelopathy
Syphilitic myelopathy is a complication of untreated syphilis that involves and .
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Syphilitic myelopathy is a form of , which is a complication of late or tertiary syphilis infection. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted, infectious disease. For information on the disease, see: Syphilis.
Signs and tests
Physical examination may show:
The goals of treatment are to cure the infection and slow the progression of the disorder. Treating the infection helps prevent new nerve damage and may reduce symptoms, but it does not reverse existing nerve damage.
Progressive disability is possible if the disorder is left untreated.
Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Jatin Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/30/2010