Spinal Cord Injury

Injuries to the spinal cord can cause permanent changes to sensations, strength, and bodily functions. Depending on the injury location and severity of the damage, an individual can have a complete (loss of sensory and motor function) or incomplete (some function), and tetraplegia (all 4 limbs, trunk and pelvic organs) or paraplegia (trunk, leg(s) and pelvic organs).

Spinal cord injuries result from damage to the spinal vertebrae, discs, ligaments, or spinal cord. The most common cause of injury is accidents that fracture, dislocate, crush, or compress a vertebra. Bleeding, fluid accumulation, and inflammation around the spinal cord can cause disability and functional impairment.

After an accident, urgent medical attention is critical to help stabilize spinal cord damage. Today, damage cannot be reversed and treatments focus on preventing further injury, and helping individuals return to a fulfilling lifestyle.

New medical devices can help some individuals improve their mobility, independence, and physical functionality. These technologies include modern wheelchairs, computer adaptations, electronic aids, electrical stimulation, and robotic gait training.

Source: Mayo Clinic
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