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Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis

Spinal cord injuries happen suddenly. A car crash. A skiing mishap. A fall in the home. One devastating moment can change someone’s life forever.

Spinal cord injuries include:

  • Quadriplegia, or paralysis of both arms and both legs, which occurs as a result of injuries to the upper part of the spinal cord along the neck
  • Paraplegia, or paralysis of the legs, which occurs in injuries below the neck

In both cases, the person may have problems like loss of bladder and bowel control.

Treating Spinal Cord Injuries

When a patient comes in with a spinal cord injury, the first steps are to protect the spinal cord from further damage and address other related problems such as lung damage, according to neurosurgeon Dennis Vollmer, MD.

After that, “nerves do have some capacity to heal,” explains Vollmer. Patients who still have some function after their injury are more likely to improve.

Treatments may include:

  • Therapy and rehabilitation
  • Medication
  • Clinical trials

Check out this week’s podcast to get injury prevention tips and treatment information.

Listen to the podcast:

Tags: neuro

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