Paraplegia results when an injury to the spinal cord is below the first thoracic spinal nerve. This results in the loss of feeling and movement, to some degree, of the legs. Paraplegics can experience anything from impairment of leg movement to complete loss of leg movement all the way up to the chest. Paraplegics are able to move their arms and hands.
Paraplegia and Functionality
The degree of function that a person with paraplegia will experience depends upon the level of injury, type of injury, and whether the injury was complete or incomplete.
Complications of Paraplegia
Complications of paraplegia include:
- Skin care issues
- Loss of bladder control
- Loss of bowel control
- Loss of sensory function
- Loss of motor function
Treatment for Paraplegia
Treatment during the acute phase will focus on returning as much function as possible. Long-term treatment will focus on learning to compensate with disabilities, and keeping complications at bay. Clinical trials are also available to the paraplegic.