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Quadriplegia

Quadriplegia is caused primarily by injury to the cervical area of the spinal cord. This damage can be caused by accidental events such as falling, vehicle accident, sports injury, etc. A fracture of the cervical spine will not necessarily cause a person to be quadriplegic, if the spinal cord isn't damaged.

paraplegia - spine

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


Quadriplegia can also be caused by several diseases and conditions including, but not limited to, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Polio, etc.


Symptoms
Symptoms vary according to the damage inflicted. Some of them are as follows:
C1, C2 & C3 Damage
- Limitations to head and neck movement, total paralysis of legs and arms, require breathing assistance from a respirator or ventilator.
C4 Damage
- Limitations to head and neck movement, total paralysis of legs and arms
C5 Damage
- Individuals will be able to breathe on their own, have good head and neck control and some arm movement but no elbow, wrist or hand movement.
C6 Damage
- Individuals will be able to breathe on their own, have good head and neck control and good arm movement. They will have some elbow and wrist movement but still no hand & finger movement.
C7 Damage
- Individuals will be able to breathe on their own, have good head and neck control, good arm movement, elbow, wrist and some hand and finger movement. Quadriplegics are especially prone to developing pressure sores (bed sores) because they cannot shift their weight when sitting or lying down.


Treatment
• Medications
• Surgery
• Regular Rehabilitation
• Electrical Stimulation
• Proper Nutrition
• Personal Hygiene
• Use of braces according to their injuries
• Physical therapy

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