What Is Spinal Cord Trauma? – Spinal Cord Injury …

Posted: September 7, 2015 at 9:42 pm

Injury to the spinal cord is a medical emergency that may result in severe and permanent disability. The spinal cordwhich along with the brain comprises the central nervous systemis a bundle of nerve cells that travels almost the entire length of the spine, connecting the brain to the nerves in the rest of the body.

The vertebrae, the small bones that make up the spine, form a bony tunnel that surrounds the cord and protects it from injury. However, if a blow is severe enough, or if the bones are weakened by disease, the spinal cord is vulnerable to damage.

Destroyed nerve cells cannot regenerate; injury to the spinal cord may thus result in permanent paralysis of the legs (paraplegia) or, in the case of a neck injury, the arms, torso and legs (quadriplegia). About half of the cases of spinal cord injury involve the neck.

However, partial or complete recovery may be expected in cases when neurons in the spinal cord have been traumatized but not completely destroyed. Outcome thus depends upon both the severity and the specific location of the injury. Damage to the spinal cord will affect nerves at the level of the injury and below.


Johns Hopkins Symptoms and Remedies: The Complete Home Medical Reference

Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Editor

Prepared by the Editors of The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50

Updated by Remedy Health Media

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at HealthCommunities.com

Published: 24 Aug 2011

Last Modified: 22 Jul 2015

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What Is Spinal Cord Trauma? - Spinal Cord Injury ...

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