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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Is Congenital Paraplegia hereditary?

 aleksa - Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:05 pm

Could you please tell me if congenital paraplegia is hereditary? My husband had it. The right side of his face is affected (Bells palsy), the ears are not symmetrical (both shape and position are different), his hips are a little bit to one side (I assume the spine is a bit curved sideways) and his feet have unusual high arches. I am not sure if all this is conected to this condition, but we are trying for a baby and he does not seem to know much about this condition and I am quite worried about it. I am not aware that anyone else in his family had this condition. Thank you very much for your help.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:44 pm

User avatar Hello -

We need to clarify some terms, I think. You say your husband "had" congenital paraplegia, which would mean he was unable to walk when he was born. Is this correct? Paraplegia is a loss of function of the lower extremities. You go on to describe what sounds like Bell's palsy, and state (or so I read you) he has -- or had --Bell's palsy. Is this correct as well? Or was he born with this condition as well?

You note unilateral abnormalities or assymetry, which may be due to a neurological birth injury (cerebral palsy, etc.), or could possibly be due to a heritable defect, but seems unlikely given there is no known history. This also could be due to semi-hemiplegia, usually a genetic mutation although it can run in families.

Then there is the highly arched feet, which is a not-unusual finding, but is usually due to either an orthopedic or neurological problem, which is what you seem to have described. It is often due to compensation for other defecits further up.

While I'm not entirely clear on whether your husband has a single syndrome with multiple features or has suffered multiple disorders including one or more that occurred at birth, this does not, on the face of it, sound like a heritable problem, but of course I know far too little about the case to really hazard a confident guess. If you could clarify per the above-mentioned items, we might be able to figure out something more of the potential for a genetically-transmitted defect. Right now I'm thinking no, but really need more information.

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