Cervical (neck) injuries usually result in four limb paralysis, referred to as either Tetraplegia or Quadriplegia.
Quadriplegia, also known as Tetraplegia, is defined as paralysis caused by illness or injury to a human that results in the partial or total loss of use of all their limbs and torso; paraplegia is similar but does not affect the arms. The loss is usually sensory and motor, which means that both sensation and control are lost. Tetraparesis or quadriparesis, on the other hand, means muscle weakness affecting all four limbs.
An impairment in motor or sensory function of the lower extremities is known as Paraplegia.
Quadriplegia, or tetraplegia, are defined as "paralysis of four limbs", tetraplegia is more commonly used in Europe than in the United States. In 1991, when the American Spinal Cord Injury Classification system was being revised, it was recommended that the term tetraplegia be used to improve consistency. Pentaplegia is a less common term referring to paralysis which also substantially affects head movement.
Quadriplegia is paralysis caused by illness or injury to a human that results in the partial or total loss of use of all their limbs and torso; Paraplegia is similar but does not affect the arms. The loss is usually sensory and motor, which means both sensation and control are lost.
Quadriplegia is caused by damage to the brain or the spinal cord at a high level C1 - C7 - in particular, spinal cord injuries secondary to an injury to the cervical spine. The injury, known as a lesion, causes victims to lose partial or total function of all four limbs, meaning the arms and the legs. Quadriplegia is defined in many ways; C1-C4 usually affects arm movement more so than a C5-C7 injury (Spine and spinal cord picture and information C1 to S5 Vertebra); however all quadriplegics have or have had some kind of finger dysfunction. So, it is not uncommon to have a quadriplegic with fully functional arms, only having their fingers not working.
Injuries above the C-4 level may require a ventilator or electrical implant for the person to breathe. This is because the diaphragm is controlled by spinal nerves exiting at the upper level of the neck. Refers to paralysis from approximately the shoulders down. Most spinal cord injuries result in loss of sensation and function below the level of injury, including loss of controlled function of the bladder and bowel.
Quadriplegia can cause a number of complications including;
Quadriplegia treatment is catered to the specific needs of each patient and often depends on the nature and severity of a person's condition. Treatment generally addresses a patient's loss of functioning and feeling in certain areas of the body, loss or impairments in organ functioning
Today, spinal cord injury treatment focuses on preventing further injury and enabling people with a spinal cord injury to return to an active and productive life within the limits of their disability.
Statistics Source: National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC)
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