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Spinal Cord Injury Leads to Paralysis

Spinal cord trauma is the medical term for all kinds ofdamage to the spinal cord. The cord may be injured directly or indirectly,perhaps from the damage which the surrounding blood vessels, nerves,tissues or boneshave sustained. The location of the injury usually determines what symptomswill be present. It is quite normal to experience sensory losses and weaknessesbelow the point of the actual injury. The symptoms are determined bydifferent ranges of severity depending on the completeness of the injury. Thereare a large number of complications which may be associated with spinal cordtraumas, and these may or may not include shock, pressure sores, quadriplegia,paraplegia, paralysis of breathing muscles, painful sensations, musclespasticity, loss of sexual functioning in men, loss of sensation, loss of bowelcontrol, loss of bladder control, increased risk of urinary tract infections,increased risk of injury to numb areas of the body, contractures, skinbreakdown, different sorts of pulmonary infections, deep vein thrombosis, othersorts of complications of immobility, chronic kidney disease and extreme bloodpressure changes. There are numerous different types of injuries to the spinewhich may be associated with the onset of spinal cord trauma. These includeassaults, gunshot wounds, industrial accidents, sports injuries falls, motorvehicle accidents and numerous others. A spine weakened by osteoporosis orrheumatoid arthritis may also be prone to spinal cord traumas caused by mereminor injuries. Direct types of injuries are also usually associated withspinal cord trauma. In most cases, spinal cord trauma happens in youngindividuals and is associated with certain types of risk factors.

Different Types of Injuries

Among the most frequent types of injuries connected withspinal cord trauma there are the lumbar sacral injuries which occur in the lowerportion of the back. Some cases may affect the legs, and also the muscles whichare in charge of controlling the bladder and the bowel movements. The mostcommon types of symptoms associated with this type of injury include paralysis,weakness, increased muscle tone, sensory changes, painful sensations, numbness,bladder spasms, leakage, constipation and a loss of normal bladder and bowelcontrol. Another type of injury which is often associated with spinal cordtrauma is the thoracic injury which occurs at the chest level. The symptoms ofsuch injuries may sometimes affect the legs. The most common ones includeweakness, paralysis, painful sensations, increased muscle tone, sensorychanges, numbness, bladder spasms, incontinence, constipation and a loss ofnormal bladder and bowel control. Other possible problems related to this typeof injury may or may not involve trouble maintaining normal body temperature,abnormal sweating, and blood pressure problems. The third common type of injurywhich may be held responsible for the onset of spinal cord trauma is the socalled cervical type of injury which affects the neck. This type of injury mayaffect the entire body, the legs and the arms. The most common list of symptomsincludes paralysis, weakness, painful sensations, increased muscle tone,sensory changes, numbness, bladder spasms, incontinence, constipation, loss ofnormal bladder and bower control and certain breathing difficulties.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In order to be diagnosed properly, spinal cord traumarequires the patient to undergo certain types of examinations and tests. A physicalexam which includes a neurological one is at the top of the priority list. AnMRI or a CT scan may sometimes be required in order to evaluate the damage.Some rare cases may also call for myelogram and Somatosensory evoked potential testing. X-ray scans are often used in theprocess of diagnosis. Spinal cord trauma is a medical condition which requires immediatemedical attention and needs to be treated as soon as possible. The swellinginduced by spinal cord damage is usually taken care of by using certain typesof corticosteroids. Some cases of spinal cord trauma may require a surgicalintervention in order to fuse the broken spinal bones, remove all the damagedelements in the spine or remove any tissues or fluids which may be puttingadditional pressure on the spinal cord. Some cases of spinal cord trauma mayrequire so called spinal traction. The majority of patients need to wear the spinebraces for quite some time.

Life with Paralysis

Paralysis of certain body parts involves a loss of sensationalong with numbness and in some cases it may even be fatal. Certain number of people mayrecover rather quickly and deal with paralysis rather good, depending onthe individual case. The living environment of a person needs to be modified toa certain extent. It is a widely known fact that most people affected by spinalcord trauma spend most of their days bound to the bed or the wheelchair. Finally, theirimpaired mobility requires them to utilize various different sorts of assistivedevices.

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