BETHLEHEM, Pa. – August 4, 2011 – Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder said defensive
tackle Mike Patterson has a brain condition that may require surgery. Patterson is
undergoing further tests. The 28-year-old Patterson was hospitalized after suffering
a seizure Wednesday morning at training camp at Lehigh University. The 6-foot-1,
300-pound Patterson has been diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation (AVM),
which is the tangling of blood vessels near the skull. “We’re pretty sure it’s what
caused the seizure and we’re pretty sure it’s not football related,” Burkholder said.
“It just so happened at football practice. It could’ve happened anywhere.” Patterson
is on medication to prevent another seizure, and anticipates he’ll be released from
the hospital Thursday. It’s unknown when or if Patterson will return to the Eagles.
“He’s antsy to get out of the hospital and get to the next step,” Burkholder said. “He’s
always upbeat and that’s the way he is now.” AVMs are malformations or tangles of
arteries and veins that alter blood flow. The cause isn’t known, but they are usually
present at birth. They can form anywhere, but are more common in the brain or
spinal cord. Most people don’t experience any symptoms, and aren’t aware of the mal-
formation until symptoms arise, usually in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Common symptoms
are headaches and seizures. The biggest risk is bleeding. Treatments include medi-
cations, surgery or radiation and vary depending on the size and location.