Accidents such as fall, gunshot, vehicular accidents, mauling and other similar violent incident may result to a very serious complication termed as Spinal Cord Injury. There have been a growing number of cases of spinal cord injury each year and is undoubtedly alarming because for one to incur spinal cord injury means that he or she is in a critical state. But what makes SCI critical? Spinal cord plays a very important role in the body. The spinal cord serves as the passageway and link of all body parts to the brain such that it enables motor, sensory and neural functions to occur. Every bit of processes and movements in the body that is responsible for maintaining life is linked to the brain, in one way or another. And without this link, the person may no longer be able to breath, move and feel.
The type and severity of the injury will reflect the part of the body that will be affected. Spinal cord injury recovery will also be based on the type of spinal cord injury treatment depending on the severity of the trauma as assessed by the physician. It is very critical to provide immediate care and treatment to the patient in order to save his or her life and to still maintain the functions of the body.
There are two major classifications of Spinal Cord Injury namely the Complete and Incomplete and Spinal cord injury recovery will be formulated depending on the type of injury.
Complete Spinal Cord Injury
Complete spinal cord injury is characterized by total loss or absence of motor and sensory functions below the affected level. However, lack of movement may not totally mean that the nerves and axons are gone. In complete spinal cord injury, the axons are still there but are not functioning properly or normally as how they used to be. Spinal cord injury recovery is patterned to help develop functions again and to maintain these processes so that the patient will be able to function the same way again.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
Incomplete Injury happens when only some of the functions below the injured spinal cord level can no longer convey messages to and from the brain thereby movement and sensation can no longer be felt.
Types of Spinal Cord Injury
·Cervical Spinal Cord Injury (C1- C8) Quadriplegia/ Tetraplegia:
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- Injury within the C1 and C2 levels or C1 to C3 will result in breathing loss thereby a patient will have to be put under ventilator or other mechanical breathers.
-Injury to the C4 to C5 affects the biceps and shoulders resulting to significant loss of function to the said parts. In addition, it also affects the hands and wrists.
-General loss of hand function and some wrist function.
-C7 and T1 results to limited use of arms and movement of the hands and fingers are no longer possible.
-T1 to T8 injury affects the abdominal muscles thereby balance in affected. Patients who have this type of injury may no longer be able to perform activities of daily living.
-T9 to T12 injury control in the abdominal muscles will be lost.
-Paraplegia is characterized by paralysis or weakness in the lower part of the body. Bowel, and bladder functions may suffer from loss of sensation.
-Incontinence and bowel and bladder dysfunction may occur as a result to trauma in this level. dysfunction is also possible and the legs will also be affected.
-Weakness to the hips and legs will be felt coupled by bladder, bowel and dysfunctions.