What is tetraplegia?

The concept of “tetraplegia” means paralysis of all four extremities, both complete and incomplete mainly due to traumatic spinal cord injury of the cervical spine (plegia and Greek tetra – fourfold impact). There is also another name for quadriplegia.

This condition suggests that specific individuals have suffered spinal cord in the area of the cervical vertebrae due to traumatic injury or pathology that entails full or partial paralysis below the border of the gap or a breach of the integrity of nervous tissue.

The spinal cord runs in a channel made of the seven vertebrae of the cervical, thoracic, lumbar spine. These vertebrae are named and numbered, for example, the cervical (cervical) – C1 to C7. In most cases a patient with an injury in the upper neck area suffers from much more complex and dangerous form of paralysis, than in the injured spinal niinesalu region.

There is the same SCI, even traumatic when the levels are identical. The degree of difficulty of the paralysis is determined mainly by completeness of spinal injury. Complete rupture of the spinal nervous tissue mainly leads to paralysis below the point of injury, and incomplete termination was considered to be less dangerous and often leads to a few slight degrees of paralysis.

Of the patients with incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) can perform motor acts fingers. Two victims with the same injury, having an identical level and type, sometimes differ from each other in features and power, but also the ability to perform movement. All depends on the individual characteristics of the patient and his ability to regenerate.

Of course, regular exercise, restorative-rehabilitation, physio – and tropolitaine also affect the described abilities. Exposed to such injuries, mainly of young age, a gender indicator, a large portion of men. On accidents account for approximately 50% of cases of SCI. Most of them leading to quadriplegia, occurs during sports activities and Hobbies, a considerable proportion in the swimming and Snorkelling in the shallow conditions.

Neurological status in different types of spinal injury

Complete rupture of the first to third cervical vertebrae results in a complete paralysis of the four limbs. Injury to C1 – C2, and in some situations, and C3 vertebrae, usually requires resuscitation in the ICU because there is a violation of the innervation of the respiratory muscles. Still, most victims of SCI in the third cervical vertebra able to breathe without outside help.

Total damage C4 – C5 mainly leads to General paralysis of the body below the chest, therefore, such a patient is capable of movement in the shoulders and limited motor acts in the hands (flaccid form). The described condition is caused by the violation of innerviruemah leading to lack of strength and function of triceps (triceps muscle), Provatorov (extensor muscles) of the wrist, and lack of motor acts in the fingers.

Injury C6-C7 is often accompanied by the ability to run a slightly larger range of motion than at the level of C5. The injured at the C6 level remains largely unchanged functioning of pronation wrist, however, lacks the full functions of the triceps and voluntary movements of fingers.

C7-injury is accompanied by a full-fledged motor skills of the upper extremities and miuwolko of the triceps. It makes life much easier victims. Many patients with similar FCM is able to carry out motor acts fingers (all, or part of them).

Tetraplegia mainly leads not only to lack of ability to perform movement in the limbs, but also to the impossibility of normal functioning of bowel and bladder.

With all the SCI cervical (neck) area of the spine observed disorders of the functioning of the intestine and urogenital system.

After injury to chanikov:

  • there is a partial or complete loss of sensation;
  • they are not able to feel pain, touch, temperature irritation;
  • circulation occurs organs and systems.

C1-C7 injured are vulnerable to the formation of bedsores. The question of proper care of such patients should develop a schedule of revolutions of the body to prevent the formation of such complications or you should purchase parts accessories.

Over time, patients have increased muscle tone of the muscles (spastic condition). Because of the latter increases the risk of formation of contractures. Spasticity there is both flexion and razgibatelnyh (fingers out spontaneously and the patient is unable to compress them into a fist).

If quadraplegia disrupted sweat glands and thermoregulation – sick during the cold period is strongly are cold, and in summer suffering from the heat.

It should be noted that quadraplegia not there is a violation of speech. The reason for the latter may be a combined injury, when compounded brain damage in certain areas.

While getting described the injury should not be discouraged. Of course, it is difficult in such a situation, however, such a state need to go and re-learn to walk. And only training physical therapy, therapeutic massage can help to regain movement in the limbs and body. Stretching exercises and massage will help to reduce spastic force and prevent the formation of contractures.

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