According to the Mayo Clinic, Spinal cord injuries consist of any damage or injury to the spinal cord or nerves in the spinal canal. This damage often causes permanent damage to the strength, function and sensation to the body parts below the injury.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
- Complete Spine Injury (Tetraplegia, Paraplegia,Triplegia)
- Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury (Anterior Cord Syndrome, Central Cord Syndrome, Brown-Sequard Syndrome)
- Spinal Concussions,
- Open and Penetrating injuries to the spine and spinal cord.
Levels of Spinal Cord Injury
American Spinal Injury Association Grading Scale:
- ASIA A: injury is complete spinal cord injury with no sensory or motor function preserved.
- ASIA B: a sensory incomplete injury with complete motor function loss.
- ASIA C: a motor incomplete injury, where there is some movement, but less than half the muscle groups are anti-gravity (can lift up against the force of gravity with a full range of motion).
- ASIA D: a motor incomplete injury with more than half of the muscle groups are anti-gravity.
- ASIA E: normal.
Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms
- Extreme pain or pressure in the neck, head or back
- Tingling or loss of sensation in the hand, fingers, feet or toes
- Partial or complete loss of control over any part of the body
- Urinary or bowel urgency, incontinence or retention
- Abnormal band-like sensations in the thorax (pain, pressure)
- Impaired breathing after injury
- Unusual lumps on the head or spine
Spinal Injury Associated Disorders
- Pressure Ulcers,
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
- Motor Vehicle Accidents,
- Sports and Recreation Accidents,
- Acts of Violence.
Treatments for Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traction to bring the spine into alignment,
- Standard ICU Care.
- Some cases need Surgery to alleviate a herniated disc, blood clot, remove a lesion, stabilize the spine to prevent further damage, and pain.
- Follow up care is essential to prevent secondary medical complications.