Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is mutilation to the spinal cord that causes reversible or irreversible changes in its function. Symptoms may include loss of muscle function, sensation, or autonomic function in the parts of the body supplied by the spinal cord below the level of the injury.
The spinal cord is a long, fragile tube-like structure that extends from the base of the brain to near the waist. The spinal cord consists of nerves that carry incoming and outgoing messages between the brain and the rest of the body. It is also the center for reflexes, such as the knee jerk reflex. Many of the bundles of nerve fibers that make up the spinal cord contain upper motor neurons, whereas spinal nerves that branch off the spinal cord at regular intervals in the neck and back contain lower motor neurons.
Damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal (cauda equina) gives rise to spinal cord injury. A spinal cord injury leads to permanent changes in strength, sensation and other function of the body below the site of the injury. A spinal canal injury alters almost every aspect of life. You can feel the consequences of the injury mentally, emotionally and socially. Treatment and rehabilitation help the people affected with spinal cord injury to lead almost-normal, productive, independent lives.
The following factors decide your ability to control your hands and feet after a spinal cord injury:
How are spinal cord injuries classified?
Spinal cord injuries are classified into complete spinal cord injury and incomplete spinal cord injury. Point to be kept in mind is, two people might have sustained the same level and type of spinal cord injury, but the similarities usually end there. Each person may have different functional capabilities, depending on the degree of injury. Spinal cord injuries are extremely complex and it usually demands the intensive treatment of a team of medical professionals to help the person cope with the injury, both on the physical and emotional levels.
Complete spinal cord injury:
Complete spinal cord injury causes total loss of bodily movements. There is absolutely no sensation and no ability for movement (motor function) below the level of the injury. About 50% of all spinal cord injuries are complete. In complete spinal cord injury, both sides of the body are severely affected. Ironically, even with a complete spinal cord injury, the spinal cord is rarely cut or transected. More often that not, loss of function is on account of contusion or bruise to the spinal cord or reduced supply of blood to the injured part of the spinal cord.
Incomplete spinal cord injury:
If you have some sensation and motor movements below the affected site, then it is incomplete injury. As a result, some function remains below the level of the injury. Here patients may be able to move one arm or leg than the other. It should be noted that there are varying levels of incomplete injury.
|Tetraplegia:||Also referred to as quadriplegia. Your arms, hands, trunk, legs, pelvic organs are all impaired on account of spinal cord injury.|
|Paraplegia:||This affects all or part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs|
Paralysis is the consequence of a spinal cord injury. It could be tetraplegia or paraplegia
Your medical team will conduct a series of tests to determine the intensity and completeness of the injury. Following are the signs and symptoms that one needs to look out for in case of a spinal cord injury.
Some spinal cord injury facts:
Watch out these signs and symptoms:
Keep an eye out on these signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury post an accident:
It’s time to see a doctor because…
Anyone who has had a significant trauma to the head and neck needs immediate medical attention to rule out the possibility of a spinal cord injury.
Common causes of spinal cord injuries:
|Road traffic accidents:||RTA are the leading cause of spinal cord injury worldwide|
|Falls:||Spinal injury after 65 is primarily because of falls. About 15% of the total spinal cord injuries is on account of falls|
|Acts of violence:||Violent encounters is the root cause of about 12% of spinal cord injuries|
|Sport and recreation injuries:||Impacts sports and diving account for 10% of overall spinal cord injuries|
|Alcohol:||Alcohol is the culprit in one out of four spinal cord injuries|
|Diseases:||Spinal cord injuries can come about because of cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis or inflammation of the spinal cord.|
Spinal Cord Injury – FAQs
Will I ever walk again?
Yes you will definitely be able to walk based your clinical state. The lower your injury and the more sensation/movement you have, the greater your chances are of regaining mobility.
Will I regain control of my bladder or bowels?
Yes, depending on the level of injury and it may take some time.
What does your program consist of?
Plexus Regenerative Rehabilitation Program consists of stem cell therapy, stem cell nutritive therapy, various oral and intravenous medications and a holistic rehabilitation program comprising of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, acupuncture, therapeutic massages etc