WHAT IS A STROKE?
A stroke is a serious condition where the blood supply to your brain slows down or stops. Because this decreases the oxygen supply to your brain, within minutes, brain cells start dying. The most common types of stroke are described below.
Medical experts estimate that about 80% of strokes are ischemic. This is the type of stroke that occurs when the arteries to your brain start narrowing or become entirely blocked. There are two types of ischemic strokes: Thrombotic and embolic.
A thrombotic stroke happens when a blood clot develops in one of the arteries involved in delivering blood to your brain. An embolic stroke occurs when a blood clot or other type of debris develops away from your brain, often in your heart, and eventually gets stuck in smaller brain arteries.
Hemorrhagic strokes occur when one of the blood vessels in your brain either starts leaking or ruptures entirely. These types of strokes are often linked to high blood pressure (hypertension) weakened blood vessel walls (aneurysms), or possibly blood-thinning medications.
TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACK
Nicknamed a “mini-stroke,” a transient ischemic attack results in decreased blood flow to your brain. While a transient ischemic attack is a serious medical issue that can last for several minutes, the effects are only temporary — no permanent tissue damage. But a transient ischemic attack dramatically increases your risk of having a full-blown stroke.
HOW DOES A STROKE AFFECT ME?
Since a stroke can cause delicate brain tissue to die, you can have a wide variety of complications afterward.
Depending on the severity of your stroke, you may experience:
Loss of muscle control (paralysis)
Memory loss or difficulty concentrating
Difficulty speaking and swallowing
Plus, a stroke can lead to abnormal sensations all over your body. For instance, if your stroke left you with decreased sensation in a limb, you may start experiencing tingling, numbness, or shooting pains. Whether your stroke symptoms seem minor or are improving, or they’ve dramatically lowered your quality of life, you can get the care you need at Spinetech.
IS THERE TREATMENT FOR STROKE?
Yes. Your dedicated neurologist at Spinetech may suggest tissue plasminogen activator treatment. This modern stroke treatment involves sending a specialized solution into your arteries through an IV in your arm.
The tissue plasminogen activator quickly dissolves the clot and improves blood flow to your brain. Ideally, this type of treatment needs to be performed within about 3-4.5 hours of the onset of acute stroke symptoms, such as paralysis, sudden numbness, or difficulty speaking.
As an alternative stroke treatment, the highly skilled neurosurgeons at Spinetech might recommend surgery. Physically removing a blood clot often involves inserting a catheter through an artery, typically in your groin, then pulling out the clot with a stent or suctioning it out. This type of mechanical treatment should ideally be performed within six hours of the onset of acute stroke symptoms.
You’re likely going to need ongoing rehabilitative care after your stroke treatment. The caring team at Spinetech can help you get set up with an occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech pathologist, and any other type of medical professional you may need to achieve a full recovery.
Learn more about how the top neurology team at Spinetech can help you recover from a stroke by booking an appointment. Schedule online or over the phone with your nearest location.