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A spinal cord injury (SCI) refers to damage to the spinal cord that results in loss of function, either temporarily or permanently. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. When the spinal cord is injured, it can lead to a loss of sensation, muscle control, and other bodily functions below the level of the injury.

SCI can be caused by trauma, such as from a car accident, fall, or sports injury, or by non-traumatic causes like infections, tumors, or degenerative diseases. The severity of an SCI depends on the location and extent of the injury along the spinal cord. Injuries higher up on the spinal cord typically result in more extensive loss of function because they affect more nerves and bodily functions.

Treatment and rehabilitation for SCI often involve medical interventions to stabilize the spine, medications to prevent further damage and manage symptoms, and physical therapy to improve function and mobility.

Paraplegia and quadriplegia (or tetraplegia)

Paraplegia and quadriplegia (or tetraplegia) are conditions that involve paralysis or loss of function in different parts of the body due to spinal cord injury or neurological conditions. 


  • Definition: Paraplegia refers to paralysis affecting the lower half of the body, including both legs and often the trunk.

  • Cause: It typically results from a spinal cord injury or trauma to the thoracic (upper back) or lumbar (lower back) regions of the spinal cord.

  • Functionality: Individuals with paraplegia generally retain normal function in their arms and hands.

Quadriplegia (or Tetraplegia):​

  • Quadriplegia or tetraplegia refers to paralysis affecting all four limbs and usually includes the trunk muscles as well.

  • Cause: It results from a spinal cord injury or trauma to the cervical (neck) region of the spinal cord.

  • Extent: The higher the injury is on the spinal cord, the more extensive the paralysis and loss of function. Quadriplegia can affect not only the arms and legs but also muscles involved in breathing and other bodily functions.

  • Functionality: Individuals with quadriplegia may experience varying degrees of impairment in their arms, hands, trunk, legs, and other bodily functions depending on the level and severity of the injury.

These conditions vary in severity and impact depending on the location and extent of the spinal cord injury or neurological condition affecting the individual. Treatment and management strategies aim to maximize function and quality of life through rehabilitation, adaptive devices, and medical care tailored to each person's needs.

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