Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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Spinal Cord Injury (Paraplegia, Quadriplegia)

Spinal Cord Injury (Paraplegia, Quadriplegia)

The spinal cord is the cord that is lodged within the spine. It is the continuation of the brain and carries all the nerves that are then distributed throughout the body. Because of this, the repercussions of suffering a bone marrow injury are very serious. When this region of the nervous system is damaged we call it a generic spinal cord injury.

The medullary lesion, for us to understand, is what causes paraplegia and tetraplegia. In today’s post I want us to have a clear picture of what is this injury and the problems that have the one who suffers. The one who is in this situation does not need to read what I am going to write today because it is his day to day. This post is more aimed at educating others about these people with whom we can cross daily and with which we can have fears, doubts or repairs for ignorance of a physical situation that should not put barriers between people.

Society has focused so much on selling figures to idealize that we have forgotten to accept that we can all have medical problems of many types and nothing happens, we are no longer people, each with their skills and their particular beauty.

Spinal Cord Injury (Paraplegia, Quadriplegia)How does a spinal cord injury occur?

The brain and spinal cord are the structures that form what we call the central nervous system. Being vital structures nature has taken care to protect them with much bone around them. The brain is inside the skull and the spinal cord is protected within a tube of bone that forms all the vertebrae together.

Because of all this it is necessary to make clear that it is not easy to have a spinal cord injury. The main cause is high energy injuries with first traffic accidents. He would be followed by injuries due to falls in height, often in connection with work on scaffolding and other elevated areas.

If we ignore trauma, which is the most common cause, there are also medical problems such as tumors that can end up damaging the spinal cord.

What problems does a person suffering from spinal cord injury have?

This question is very important because we may think we know what paraplegia is, and most have very limited concepts. The general concept we have of paraplegia for example is that it is a person who has badly damaged his back and that is why he cannot move his legs and has to go in a wheelchair.

Before proceeding I want to clarify that it is called paraplegia to the medullary lesions that do not affect the arms. Tetraplejias are higher lesions that also limit mobility in the upper limbs.

The reality is that the problem of mobility may be the least of the problems of a paraplegic. The injury also affects the nerve pathways that go to our organs. In this sense there are three things that I want to emphasize that interfering in an important way in the life of the one who suffers it:

 The ability to urinate normally. In spinal cord injuries, this ability can be lost and people suffering from it are forced to have a catheter to evacuate the bladder or to carry a collector that collects urine in a bag because we cannot control the emptying of the bladder. This problem is further complicated by the fact that urine infections are produced much more easily.

The ability to make deposition with normality. On the one hand you can lose the sensitivity so we do not notice the urge to go to the bathroom and we do not feel the exit from the feces. This is very traumatic for the person until he manages to control it because he sees that he has pooped up without realizing it. With education and treatment you can get it reasonably controlled on most occasions even though the problem is there.

The alteration of sexuality. The problems in this sense are very varied and are lived differently depending on whether you are male or female. There may be problems of ejaculation, erection, sensitivity, etc. The suffering this produces is very particular for each case and we could talk hours about all the variants.

In short, the spinal cord injury is more than not being able to move the legs. It is necessary to understand that these people have other problems that can limit their social activities in certain moments but that they do not stop being the same person that they were before having the injury.

We will continue talking about spinal cord injury with information that may also interest those affected. If you have doubts or want to know more do not hesitate to ask.

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