Spinal Cord Injury

Posted by e-Medical PPT
Spinal cord injury refers to an traumatic injury to the spinal cord.It can cause myelopathy or damage to nerve roots or myelinated fiber tracts that carry signals to and from the brain.Depending on its classification and severity, this type of traumatic injury could also damage the grey matter in the central part of the cord, causing segmental losses of interneurons and motor neurons. This loss of neurons can cause a person to lose motor function, reflexes or a loss of sensation.
There are several clinical syndromes associated with incomplete spinal cord injuries.
    * The Central cord syndrome is associated with greater loss of upper limb function compared to lower limbs and can be caused by hyperflexion and hyperextension.
    * The Brown-Séquard syndrome results from injury to one side with the spinal cord, causing weakness and loss of proprioception on the side of the injury and loss of pain and thermal sensation of the other side.
    * The Anterior cord syndrome results from injury to the anterior part of the spinal cord, causing weakness and loss of pain and thermal sensations below the injury site but preservation of proprioception that is usually carried in the posterior part of the spinal cord.
    * Conus medullaris syndrome results from injury to the tip of the spinal cord, located at L1 vertebra.
The effects of a spinal cord injury may vary depending on the type, level, and severity of injury, but can be classified into two general categories:
    * In a complete injury, function below the "neurological" level is lost. Absence of motor and sensory function below a specific spinal level is considered a "complete injury". Recent evidence suggests that less than 5% of people with "complete" spinal cord injuries recover locomotion.
    * In an incomplete injury, some sensation and/or movement below the level of the injury is retained. The lowest spinal segment in humans is located at vertebral levels S4-5, corresponding to the anal sphincter and peri-anal sensation. The ability to contract the anal sphincter voluntarily or to feel peri-anal pinprick or touch, the injury is considered to be "incomplete".

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