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What is spinal cord injury?

In order to understand what is spinal cord injury, we will first explain what is a spinal cord. It is an extension of the brain. It contains high concentrations of sensitive nerve cells that send and receive messages between the body and the brain. Any damage to the spinal cord can have serious consequences, such as paralysis, neuropathic pain or loss of organ function.

The spinal cord contains millions of nerve “intersections” that distribute signals to each part of the body. Depending on the area of ​​the spinal cord that was damaged, the side effects will be determined.

For example, if the region of the spine that contains the nerves that control the muscles of the legs is damaged, it means that there will be a weakness or a complete loss of function in those muscles.

Symptoms of spinal cord injury

-Pressure ulcers.
-Mood changes.
-Chronic pain.
-Difficulty breathing.
-Frequent infections.
-Headaches.
-Incontinence.
-Infertility.
-Muscle pain.
-Nerve pain.
-Paralysis.
-Pneumonia.
-Low libido.

Types of spinal cord injury

Depending on the severity of the injury, there are two main categories that doctors use to describe the condition:

Incomplete spinal section:

It involves damage that has not completely inhibited nerve transmission beyond the site of injury.

Complete medullary section:

Spinal cord damage is severe enough that no nerve signal can pass through the site of the injury.

The location of the spinal injury is important

The nerves leave the brain and go to the spinal cord. They branch off at various points along the way to go to their target organs.

Depending on where the damage to the spinal cord occurs, it will determine which areas of the body will be affected.

Complete damage to the spinal cord will prevent all nerves below the damaged point from receiving or sending messages. Therefore, to classify the level of injury, doctors will evaluate the lowest level of sensation and function of nerves in the spinal cord.

There are four main divisions of the spinal cord: organized according to the spine. The spine begins at the base of the skull and goes to the coccyx.

 

Causes of spinal cord injury

-Car accidents.
-Wounds by a fire weapon.
-Tumor growths.
-Sport injuries.
-Toxic exposure.
-Ischemic damage (lack of blood supply)

 

Treatment

Nerve prostheses, mechanical and electronic devices are options to complement or replace lost function at the motor or sensory level.

In the past, most scientists thought that the cells of the central nervous system of the adult were not able to regenerate. Today they affirm that the spinal cord has a very active regeneration mechanism.

Rehabilitation

Exercises and rehabilitative measures must be started immediately. Once stabilized, you should go to rehabilitation centres with qualified personnel in the management of spinal injuries.

Emotional attention is really important due to the fact that it is almost inevitable that you will be in a deep depression because of the loss of control of your own body.

At the London Spine Unit, we have some of the best specialists to diagnose and treat spinal cord injury. Book an appointment to get a checkup.

 

You might also want to read: 

A novel five degree of freedom user command controller in people with spinal cord injury and non-injured for full upper extremity neuroprostheses, wearable powered orthoses and prosthetics.

A novel rodent model of spinal metastasis and spinal cord compression.

Spine and spinal cord injuries–causes and complications.

The validity of administrative data to classify patients with spinal column and cord injuries.

 

What is a spinal cord?

The spinal cord is an extension of the brain. It contains high concentrations of sensitive nerve cells that send and receive messages between the body and the brain. Any damage to the spinal cord can have serious consequences, such as paralysis, neuropathic pain or loss of organ function.

What are the symptoms of spinal cord injury?

A patient may have the following symptoms: Pressure ulcers, mood changes, chronic pain, difficulty breathing, frequent infections, headaches, incontinence, infertility, muscle pain, nerve pain, paralysis, pneumonia and low libido.

What is the treatment for spinal cord injury?

Nerve prostheses, mechanical and electronic devices are options to complement or replace lost function at the motor or sensory level. In the past, most scientists thought that the cells of the central nervous system of the adult were not able to regenerate. Today they affirm that the spinal cord has a very active regeneration mechanism.

 

 

 

 

 

Doctors Specialising in Spinal Trauma
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