How does damage to the spinal cord affect the body?

Spinal cord injuries can be complete or incomplete (partial): Complete: A complete injury causes total paralysis (loss of function) below the level of the injury. It affects both sides of the body. A complete injury may cause paralysis of all four limbs (quadriplegia) or the lower half of the body (paraplegia).

Why does damage to the spinal cord affect so many areas of the body?

When your spinal cord cannot relay signals from your brain to an area of your body, your motor skills can’t properly function. High injuries on the spinal cord typically inhibit your ability to move all four limbs, while lower injuries impede movement in the legs.

What types of conditions can result if there is damage to the spinal cord?

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function, such as mobility and/or feeling. Frequent causes of spinal cord injuries are trauma (car accident, gunshot, falls, etc.) or disease (polio, spina bifida, Friedreich’s ataxia, etc.).

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Does a spinal cord injury shorten your life?

Life expectancy depends on the severity of the injury, where on the spine the injury occurs and age. Life expectancy after injury ranges from 1.5 years for a ventilator-dependent patient older than 60 to 52.6 years for a 20-year-old patient with preserved motor function.

What are possible psychosocial effects of a complete spinal cord injury?

Emotional and behavioral problems may develop or worsen after a SCI. There is often a period of adjustment after a spinal cord injury. Sometimes feelings of sadness or anxiety may develop. In some cases, clinical depression may develop.

What are the symptoms of spinal cord problem?

Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Disorder

  • Weakness or paralysis of limbs.
  • Loss of sensation.
  • Changes in reflexes.
  • Loss of urinary or bowel control.
  • Uncontrolled muscle spasms.
  • Back pain.

How do you treat spinal nerve damage?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to reverse damage to the spinal cord. But researchers are continually working on new treatments, including prostheses and medications that may promote nerve cell regeneration or improve the function of the nerves that remain after a spinal cord injury.

How serious is spinal cord compression?

Without treatment, spinal cord compression can cause damage to the spinal nerves, which can result in loss of bladder or bowel control or paralysis. If you experience sudden inability to control your bladder or bowels, or if you have severe weakness or numbness, you should seek medical care immediately.

Can the spinal cord repair itself?

Unlike tissue in the peripheral nervous system, that in the central nervous system (the spinal cord and brain) does not repair itself effectively.

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Can the spinal cord heal?

Damage to the spinal cord rarely heals because the injured nerve cells fail to regenerate. The regrowth of their long nerve fibers is hindered by scar tissue and molecular processes inside the nerves. Scientists in now report that help might be on the way from an unexpected quarter.

What is the life expectancy of someone with a spinal cord injury?

Individuals aged 60 years at the time of injury have a life expectancy of approximately 7.7 years (patients with high tetraplegia), 9.9 years (patients with low tetraplegia), and 12.8 years (patients with paraplegia).

What is the leading cause of death in spinal cord injury?

Overall, the leading cause of death was pneumonia, followed by other subsequent unintentional injuries and suicides. The highest ratios of actual to expected deaths were for septicemia, pulmonary emboli, and pneumonia.

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