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Encyclopedia > Paraplegia
Paraplegia
Classification & external resources
MeSH D010264

Paraplegia is an impairment in motor and/or sensory function of the lower extremities. It is usually the result of spinal cord injury or a congenital condition such as spina bifida which affects the neural elements of the spinal canal. The area of the spinal canal which is affected in paraplegia is either the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral regions. If the arms are also affected by paralysis, tetraplegia is the proper terminology. Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is a huge controlled vocabulary (or metadata system) for the purpose of indexing journal articles and books in the life sciences. ... Spinal cord injury, or myelopathy, is a disturbance of the spinal cord that results in loss of sensation and/or mobility. ... A congenital disorder is a medical condition or defect that is present at or before birth (for example, congenital heart disease). ... Quadriplegia is caused by damage to the spinal cord at a high level (e. ...

Contents

Causes

The causes range from trauma (acute spinal cord injury: transsection or compression of the cord, usually by bone fragments from vertebral fractures) to tumors (chronic compression of the cord), myelitis transversa and multiple sclerosis.


Central Nervous System (CNS)

Any disease process affecting the corticospinal or pyrimidal tracts of the spinal cord from the thoracic spine downward may lead to paraplegia. These tracts are responsible for movement or the "instructions" for movement from the brain to the anterior horncells respectively. The most common cause of paraplegis (and all spinal cord injuries) is motor vehicle accidents. Other causes include violence, sports, cancer (tumors) involving the epidural or dural space, vertebral fractures) and myelitis transversa. Gunshot wounds to the spine, although decreasing, are one of the major causes of paraplegic spinal cord injuries (for instance, Ron Kovic, author of Born on the Fourth of July, is a paraplegic as a result of a gunshot wound suffered in the Vietnam War). Sometimes, paralysis of both legs can result from injury to the brain (bilateral injury of the motor cortex controlling the legs, e.g. due to a stroke or a brain tumor). A typical thoracic vertebra The thoracic vertebrae (vertebrae thoracales) compose the middle segment of the vertebral column, between the cervical vertebrae and the lumbar vertebrae. ... The human brain In animals, the brain (enkephalos) (Greek for in the skull), is the control center of the central nervous system, responsible for behavior. ... The anterior horn is the anterior division of the lateral ventricle of the brain. ... A diagram of a thoracic vertebra. ... Transverse myelitis is a neurologic disorder caused by a loss of the myelin encasing the spinal cord, also known as demyelination. ... This article is about the video game. ... Ron Kovic, (left) with Brian Willson at a Veterans for Peace conference. ... Born on the Fourth of July (ISBN 1888451785) is the best selling autobiography of Ron Kovic, a paralyzed Vietnam War veteran who became an anti-war activist. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... Paralysed redirects here. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... For other uses, see Stroke (disambiguation). ... A brain tumor is any intracranial tumor created by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, normally either in the brain itself (neurons, glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells), lymphatic tissue, blood vessels), in the cranial nerves (myelin-producing Schwann cells), in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary and pineal gland, or...


Peripheral nervous system

Rarer is the type which is caused by damage to the nerves supplying the legs. This form of damage is not usually symmetrical and would not cause paraplegia, but polyneuropathy may cause paraplegia if motor fibres are affected. While in theory the arms should also be affected, the fibres that supply the legs are longer and hence more vulnerable to damage. Larry Flynt, noted pornography magnate, sustained this form of nerve damage when he was shot in a murder attempt in 1978, rendering him paraplegic. Nerves (yellow) Nerves redirects here. ... Polyneuropathy is a neurological disorder that occurs when many peripheral nerves throughout the body malfunction simultaneously. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Porn redirects here. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ...


Disability

While some people with paraplegia can walk to a degree, many are dependent on wheelchairs or other supportive measures. Impotence and various degrees of urinary and fecal incontinence are very common in those affected. Many use catheters and/or a bowel management program (often involving suppositories, enemas, or digital stimulation of the bowels) to address these problems. With successful bladder and bowel management, paraplegics can virtually prevent all accidental urinary or bowel discharges; it is however another option for the patient to wear undergarments such as diapers to further protect from bladder or fecal incontinence. Some prefer diapers for the comfort level they provide. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Impotence or, more clinically, erectile dysfunction is the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis for satisfactory sexual intercourse regardless of the capability of ejaculation. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Fecal incontinence is the loss of regular control of the bowels. ... Catheter disassembled In medicine, a catheter is a tube that a health professional may insert into part of the body. ... The intestine is the portion of the alimentary canal extending from the stomach to the anus and, in humans and other mammals, consists of two segments, the small intestine and the large intestine. ... Four 500mg acetaminophen/paracetamol suppositories A suppository is a medicine that is inserted either into the rectum (rectal suppository) or into the vagina (vaginal suppository) where it melts. ... This rectal bulb syringe may be used to administer small enemas. ... This article is about the garment. ...


Complications

Due to decreased movement and loss of the ability to run, paraplegia may cause numerous medical complications, many of which can be prevented with vigilant self care. These include pressure sores (decubitus), thrombosis and pneumonia. Physiotherapy and various assistive technology, such as a standing frame, may aid in preventing these complications. Bedsores, also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, are ulcers (sores) caused by prolonged pressure or rubbing on vulnerable areas of the body. ... Thrombosis is the formation of a clot or thrombus inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. ... This article is about human pneumonia. ... Physical therapy can help restore lost functionality in many people. ... Assistive Technology (AT) is a generic term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices and the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. ... A standing frame (also known as a stand, stander, standing technology, standing aid, standing device, standing box, tilt table) is assistive technology used by a child or adult who uses a wheelchair for mobility. ...


Support organizations

  • Back-Up Trust
  • Spinal Cord Injury Peer Support
  • Spinal Cord Injury Support
  • Canadian Paraplegic Association

The Back-Up Trust is a British medical charity dedicated to working with humans paralysed through spinal cord injury. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Paraplegia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (360 words)
Paraplegia is a condition in which the lower part of a patient's body is paralyzed and cannot move.
Central nervous system: Any disease process affecting the pyramidal tract of the spinal cord from the thoracic spine downward may lead to paraplegia, as this structure transmits "instructions" for movement from the brain to the anterior horn.
This form of damage is not usually symmetrical and would not cause paraplegia, but polyneuropathy may cause paraplegia if motor fibres are affected.
MedFriendly.com: Paraplegia (1535 words)
Paraplegia is a loss of the ability to move and/or feel both legs and generally, the lower trunk (stomach area and lower back).
Paraplegia is often caused by an injury to the spinal cord, such as those resulting from a motor vehicle or motorcycle accident, gunshot wounds, and falls.
Paraplegia comes from the Greek word "para" meaning "near," and the word "plege" meaning "stroke." Put the two words together and you have "near stroke." A stroke is a burst artery (a type of blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart) or a blockage of an artery in the brain.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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