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What is Quadriplegia: Quadriplegic Facts & Definition

  • Published: 2010-09-26 (Rev. 2016-01-07) - Contact: Ian Langtree at Disabled World
  • Synopsis: Facts and definition regarding Quadriplegia a four limb paralysis also known as Tetraplegia Persons having Quadriplegia are referred to as quadriplegics.

Definition: 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.

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"Quadriplegia treatment is catered to the specific needs of each patient and often depends on the nature and severity of a person's condition."

Quadriplegia is also termed tetraplegia

Cervical (neck) injuries usually result in four limb paralysis, referred to as either Tetraplegia or Quadriplegia.

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.

Causes of Quadriplegia

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 Complications:

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.

Awareness: SCI Awareness

Lime green awareness ribbonSpinal Cord Injury (SCI) awareness ribbon color is lime green, and the month of September is U.S. National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. U.S. Congress recently acted to bring attention to spinal cord injury (SCI), passing a resolution making September National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month.

Statistics: Paraplegia & Quadriplegia (SCI)

Source: National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC)




Related Information:

  1. Breakthrough as Nerve Connections Regenerated After Spinal Cord Injury - University of California - Irvine - (2010-08-08)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/spinal/nerve-connections-sci.php
  2. Healing the Spinal Cord - University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences - (2012-06-27)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/spinal/sci-healing.php
  3. Quadriplegia and Paraplegia Information and Infographic - Back Pain Relief - (2013-05-17)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/para-quad.php
  4. Promising Spinal-cord Injury Treatment - University of Alberta - (2010-05-30)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/spinal/sci-research.php
  5. Spinal Cord Injury: Bladder Function and Infections - University of California - Los Angeles - (2014-10-18)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/spinal/bladder.php




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