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Acute Spinal Cord Injury

What is an acute spinal cord injury?

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body.
Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is due to a traumatic injury that either results in a bruise (also called a contusion), a partial tear, or a complete tear (called a transection) in the spinal cord. SCI is a common cause of permanent disability and death in children and adults.
About 11,000 people a year sustain a spinal cord injury. About 247,000 people in the US are living with a spinal cord injury. More than half of all SCIs occur among young people between the ages of 16 and 30 years. The majority of SCI victims (78 percent) are male.

What causes an acute spinal cord injury?

There are many causes of SCI. The more common injuries occur when the area of the spine or neck is bent or compressed, as in the following:

  • birth injuries, which typically affect the spinal cord in the neck area
  • falls
  • motor vehicle accidents (where the person is either riding as a passenger in the car or is struck as a pedestrian)
  • sports injuries
  • diving accidents
  • trampoline accidents
  • violence (gun shots or stab wounds)

What are the symptoms of an acute spinal cord injury?

The person may have varying degrees of symptoms associated with the severity and location of the SCI. Initially, the patient may experience spinal shock, which causes loss or decrease in feeling, muscle movement, and reflexes. As swelling subsides, other symptoms appear depending on the location of the injury. Generally, the higher up the level of the injury to the spinal cord, the more severe the symptoms. For example, an injury on the neck, at C1 or C2 (the first and second vertebrae in the spinal column), affects the respiratory muscles and the ability to breathe. A lower injury, in the lumbar vertebrae, may affect the nerve and muscle control to the bladder, bowel, and legs. SCI is classified according to the person's type of loss of motor and sensory function. The following are the main types of classifications: quadriplegia (quad means four) - involves loss of movement and sensation in all four limbs (arms and legs). Quadriplegia also affects the chest muscles and requires a mechanical breathing machine for the patient.

paraplegia (para means two like parts) - involves loss of movement and sensation in the lower half of the body (right and left legs).The following are the most common symptoms of acute spinal cord injuries. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
1. muscle weakness
2. loss of voluntary muscle movement in the chest, arms, or legs
3. breathing problems
4. loss of feeling in the chest, arms, or legs
5. loss of bowel and bladder function
The symptoms of SCI may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
How are acute spinal cord injuries diagnosed?
The full extent of the SCI may not be completely understood immediately after the injury, but may be revealed with a comprehensive medical evaluation and diagnostic testing. The diagnosis of SCI is made with a physical examination and diagnostic tests. During the examination, the physician obtains a complete medical history and inquires as to how the injury occurred. Trauma to the spinal cord can cause neurological problems and requires further medical follow-up.
1. Diagnostic tests may include:
2. blood tests
3. x-ray - a diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
computed tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan.) - a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.
5. magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
Treatment of an acute spinal cord injury:
Saravana hospital homoeopathic treatment gives excellent cure for Acute spinal cord injury.


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