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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-6

Keraunoparalysis: What a neurosurgeon should know about it?

Department of Neurosurgery, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, India

Correspondence Address:
Ashish Kumar
Department of Neurosurgery, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Punjagutta, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh - 500 082
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8237.110116

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Keraunoparalysis or transient weakness in limbs following a lightning strike has been well described in literature. Many times, neurosurgeons encounter patients with paraparesis secondary to trauma in the setting of a lightning strike. In these cases, it becomes imperative to find out the true cause behind such weakness in lower limbs because the prognosis differs significantly depending on the etiology. We report a case of keraunoparalysis affecting both lower limbs in a 50-year-old male, where he recovered within 48 hours of the impact. As far as our knowledge is concerned, this is the first case of keraunoparalysis reported from India. We also review the available literature and discuss the physics of lightning, its mechanism, other clinical presentations, and management strategy in the light of our case. These patients must be investigated for other possible causes of paraparesis secondary to trauma and keraunoparalysis should rather be a diagnosis of exclusion, only to be confirmed on imageology. Awareness regarding similar cases will make neurosurgeons notice this entity early, avoiding unnecessary investigation, and hence they will be able to prognosticate in the most efficient manner.

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