Quadriplegia : is when a person has a spinal cord injury above the first thoracic vertebra, paralysis usually affects the cervical spinal nerves resulting in paralysis of all four limbs. In addition to the arms and legs being paralyzed, the abdominal and chest muscles will also be affected resulting in weakened breathing and the inability to properly cough and clear the chest. People with this type of paralysis are referred to as Quadriplegic or Tetraplegic.
Refers to paralysis from approximately the shoulders down. Most spinal cord injuries result in loss of sensation and function below the level of injury, including loss of controlled function of the bladder and bowel.
Quadriplegia is a type of cerebral palsy in which all four limbs are affected. It is usually accompanied by more severe symptoms of nerve damage interfering with normal muscle movement than the other types.
Causes of Quadriplegia
You may be paralyzed because you were in a car or sports accident that broke your neck. Having a tumor or other diseases in your spinal canal can also cause quadriplegia. It may be possible for the nerves to start working again if your spinal cord is just bruised or swollen.
It is caused by damage to the brain or the spinal cord at a high level – in particular spinal cord injuries secondary to an injury to the cervical spine. The injury, known as a lesion, causes victims to lose partial or total mobility of all four limbs, meaning the arms and the legs.
Typical causes of this damage are trauma (such as an auto accident, gunshot wound, fall, or sports injury) or disease (such as transverse myelitis, polio, or spina bifida).
There are a variety of common causes for quadriplegia. Quadriplegia is often the result of traumatic injury to the spinal cord. Quadriplegia is the medical term used to define paralysis which affects the lower extremities, upper extremities, and most, or all, of the trunk from the neck down.
Signs and symptoms of Quadriplegia
The location of the injury. In general, injuries that are higher in your spinal cord produce more paralysis. For example, a spinal cord injury at the neck level may cause paralysis in both arms and legs and make it impossible to breathe without a respirator, while a lower injury may affect only your legs and lower parts of your body.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy can be as simple as having difficulty with fine motor tasks like writing or using scissors, or as profound as being unable to maintain balance or walk. Severely afflicted patients may have involuntary movements, such as uncontrollable hand motions and drooling
Treatment of Quadriplegia
Quadriplegia treatment is catered to the specific needs of each patient and often depends on the nature and severity of a person’s condition. Quadriplegia treatment generally addresses a patient’s loss of functioning and feeling in certain areas of the body, loss or impairments in organ functioning
In the meantime, spinal cord injury treatment focuses on preventing further injury and enabling people with a spinal cord injury to return to an active and productive life within the limits of their disability. This requires urgent emergency attention and ongoing care.
Conservative treatment of pressure sores includes appropriate wound care, debridement of necrotic tissue, optimization of nutrition, release of pressure, and minimization of muscle spasticity to provide the patient with the best opportunity to heal by secondary intention. Stage 1 and 2 pressure sores are treated conservatively.