What is transverse myelitis?
Transverse myelitis is a rare neurological condition in which the entire width of the spinal cord becomes inflamed, causing nerve damage and pain. People with this condition have weakness or numbness in their limbs, and they may also have issues with movement.
Transverse myelitis can affect anyone. It is often caused by viral infections or multiple sclerosis. In some rare cases, transverse myelitis can be caused by vaccines.
If you have developed back pain, lower back pain, or muscle spasms after receiving a vaccine, contact your doctor right away.
Can vaccines cause transverse myelitis?
Transverse myelitis vaccine injuries are rare but possible. Symptoms can begin from a few days up to three months after you received a vaccine.
There are several vaccines that have been linked to transverse myelitis, including:
- Diphtheria, Tetanus or Pertussis (DTap, DT, Td, Tdap, DTP-Hib)
- Influenza (Flu)
- Hepatitis B
- Measles, Mumps, or Rubella (MMR, MMRV)
These vaccines are included in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), which helps people with vaccine injuries recover their losses. If you have developed transverse myelitis from a vaccine injury, contact us right away. Our expert vaccine injury lawyers can file a claim for you with VICP at no cost to you.
What are the symptoms of transverse myelitis vaccine injury?
Symptoms of transverse myelitis caused by a vaccine include:
- Back pain or lower back pain
- Shooting pain in the legs, arms, or around the torso
- Headaches, fevers, loss of appetite, or muscle spasms
- Weakness in the arms and legs
- Trouble with motor coordination
- Feelings of numbness, tingling, coldness, or burning
- Bowel and bladder problems
- Breathing problems
How is a transverse myelitis vaccine injury diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask about your medical history, do a thorough neurological examination, and rule out other conditions that may be the cause of your symptoms, including a herniated or slipped disk, spinal stenosis, abscesses, vitamin deficiencies, and more. They may perform blood tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to identify the underlying cause of your condition.
How is transverse myelitis treated?
Treatments for transverse myelitis are usually given in a hospital or rehabilitation facility. They aim to reduce the inflammation in the spinal cord and manage symptoms, as well as treat any infection that may have caused this condition. Treatments may include:
- Medications. Drugs can help reduce your pain, treat infections, or relieve complications like bladder problems, muscle spasms or stiffness, and depression
- Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). This treatment uses antibodies from healthy donors to remove unhealthy antibodies from circulation.
- Intravenous (IV) corticosteroids. These drugs help decrease swelling and inflammation in the spine and reduce immune system activity that contributes to inflammation.
- Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis). This procedure uses a machine to assist immune system activity by exchanging the blood plasma for fluids causing inflammation.
- Respirators. This treatment uses a machine that can assist you with breathing to improve your respiratory issues.
Am I eligible for transverse myelitis vaccine injury compensation?
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) includes transverse myelitis as a covered injury.
If you or a loved one has developed symptoms of transverse myelitis, take our vaccine eligibility quiz to see if you qualify for compensation. Our experienced vaccine injury attorneys can file a claim for you with the VICP at no cost to you.