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Case Reports in Orthopedics
Volume 2018, Article ID 2384969, 4 pages
Case Report

A Rare Axonal Variant of Guillain-Barré Syndrome following Elective Spinal Surgery

1Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA
2Long Island Spine Specialists PC, 763 Larkfield Road, Commack NY 11725, USA
3St. Catherine of Sienna Medical Center, 50 New York 25A, Smithtown, NY 11787, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Jessica R. Dowling; ude.uaf.htlaeh@5102jgnilwod

Received 8 June 2018; Revised 2 July 2018; Accepted 1 August 2018; Published 7 August 2018

Academic Editor: Koichi Sairyo

Copyright © 2018 Jessica R. Dowling and Thomas J. Dowling Jr. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Acute motor and sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN) is a rare axonal variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome. AMSAN is considered the most severe form of GBS, known for its rapid onset of severe symptoms, and often leading to quadriparesis within 7 days of initial symptom onset. We present a case of a middle-aged Caucasian female who developed AMSAN 2 weeks following an elective spinal surgery. Although rare, GBS has been reported as a complication of surgery. GBS classically presents as ascending motor weakness starting in the lower extremities following a gastrointestinal or upper respiratory tract infection. This patient’s GBS manifested slightly differently, with both sensory and motor symptoms of her thoracic region and lower extremities, with no preceding history indicative of infection. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first reported case of AMSAN following spinal surgery. Because of its risk of significant morbidity and mortality, as well as similar presentation to more common spinal postoperative complications, GBS should always be included in the differential diagnosis whenever motor or sensory weakness is observed after spinal surgery.