SPINAL CORD INJURIES
Approximately 200,000 individuals in the United States have spinal cord injuries. Every year, approximately 10,000 people sustain new spinal cord injuries. Most of these people are injured in auto and sports accidents, falls, and industrial mishaps. An estimated 60 percent of these individuals are 30 years old or younger, and the majority of them are men.
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If you or someone you know has just suffered a spinal cord injury (SCI), you will have many concerns and questions about the injury and how it will affect your life. By nature, an SCI has a very sudden impact on an individual, physically as well as emotionally and socially. It is crucial to remember that many other people have experienced SCIs and have continued to lead happy and productive lives.
When a person receives an SCI, the communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted, and messages no longer flow past the damaged area. The extent of the communication breakdown is dependent on both the severity and location of the injury.
Spinal cord injuries can occur at any level of the spinal cord, an the level of the injury will dictate which bodily functions are altered or lost.
The higher the injury is along the backbone, the more movement and sensation will be altered or lost. Some injuries may cause paralysis in both arms and legs and result in "quadriplegia" while other injuries at the upper-back level can result in "paraplegia".