Hysterical spinal paralysis

Paraplegia. 1989 Dec;27(6):428-31. doi: 10.1038/sc.1989.68.


Seventeen patients were diagnosed as having hysterical paralysis. Although a variety of patterns of motor and sensory loss were seen, 15 out of 17 patients had normal reflexes, and all the patients had bowel and bladder control, an important diagnostic point. All but 1 were improved after an average 3.8 days hospital stay with 13 being fully recovered. When a patient is encountered with paralysis, normal reflexes and bowel and bladder control, the only initial diagnostic study indicated is routine X-rays.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysteria / complications*
  • Male
  • Paralysis / diagnosis
  • Paralysis / physiopathology
  • Paralysis / psychology*
  • Spinal Cord / physiopathology*