Tetanus classification On the Web
American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Tetanus classification
Tetanus may be classified according to different presentations into neonatal, cephalic, generalized or local.
Generalized tetanus is characterized by generalized muscle spasm of the body. Neck stiffness, abdominal stiffness, trismus and stiffness of other muscle groups may be observed. Flexion of the upper limbs, extension of the lower limbs, arcing of the back and fist clenching may be seen during a generalized tetanic spasm.
Local tetanus refers to the spasm of the muscles limited to one region or limb of the body. The spasm is usually seen around the site of injury.
Cephalic tetanus presents with the exclusive involvement of the cranial nerves. Facial nerve is the most commonly affected nerve in cephalic tetanus. Other cranial nerves involved in cephalic tetanus may include cranial nerves III, IV, VI, and XII.
Neonatal tetanus, as specified by the name, occurs in neonates. Difficulty in feeding due to the inability to open the mouth, an increase in the tone of the muscles , clenching of fists and dorsiflexion of the feet may be seen.
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