Munson Health
 
Paraplegia

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by Kohnle D

(Paralysis; Loss of Movement)

 

Causes

Injury to the nervous system is the most common cause of paraplegia. Common injuries and other causes include:
  • Broken neck
  • Broken back
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Genetic disorder (hereditary spastic paraplegia)
  • Congenital (present at birth)
  • Infection
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Tumor (either within the spinal cord or pushing on the spinal cord)
  • Syrinx (a spinal cord disorder)
 

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:

Mobility Devices

A wheelchair will help with your mobility. Part of your recovery will include finding a wheelchair that best suits your needs and how to use it properly.
Depending on the extent and location on the spine of your injury, you may be able to use a device that fits over your legs and part of your upper body. The fitted metal brace helps you to sit, stand, and/or walk with assistance of a caregiver. It is used in combination with other treatments, such as physical therapy.

Therapy and Rehabilitation

In most people, physical therapy and rehabilitation may help restore muscle function. Occupational and speech therapy may also be helpful.
 

RESOURCES

Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
http://www.christopherreeve.org

Spastic Paraplegia Foundation
http://www.sp-foundation.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Paraplegic Association (Alberta)
http://www.cpa-ab.org

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

 

References


Alisky JM, Nogo A. Protein neutralisation and motor cortex computer implants: a future hope for spinal cord injury [review]. Singapore Med J. 2007;48:596-597.


Faden AI, Stoica B. Neuroprotection: challenges and opportunities [review]. Arch Neurol. 2007;64:794-800.


Kruszewski SP, Shane JA. Pregabalin in central neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury: a placebo-controlled trial. Neurology. 2007;68:2158-2159.


Penas-Prado M, Loghin ME. Spinal cord compression in cancer patients: review of diagnosis and treatment. Curr Oncol Rep. 2008;10:78-85.


Sharma HS. Neurotrophic factors in combination: a possible new therapeutic strategy to influence pathophysiology of spinal cord injury and repair mechanisms [review]. Curr Pharm Des. 2007;13:1841-1874.


Shimizu H, Yozu R. Current strategies for spinal cord protection during thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair. Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011;59(3):155-163.


Spinal cord injury information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/sci/sci.htm. Updated September 18, 2012. Accessed November 28, 2012.


What is paraplegia? Spinal Injury Network website. Available at: http://www.spinal-injury.net/paraplegia.htm. Accessed November 28, 2012.


7/8/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: FDA allows marketing of first wearable, motorized device that helps people with certain spinal cord injuries to walk. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm402970.htm. Updated June 27, 2014. Accessed July 8, 2014.

 

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