Spinal cord injuries can occur for a variety of reasons including falls from height, sporting injuries, road traffic accidents, and work accidents.
The level of recovery a patient will be able to achieve after a spinal injury will depend on where the damage has occurred on the spine and whether the injury is complete or incomplete.
The Spinal Cord
The spinal cord is a thick bundle of nerves extending from the brain which travels through the vertebrae, carrying electrical messages to all parts of the body. If the spinal cord is damaged loss of movement and sensation can occur.
The parts of the body affected by a spinal cord injury will depend on the location of the injury
The spine consists of 33 vertebrae (bones) which surround and protect the spinal cord, and provide support for the upper body. The spine is held together with ligaments which stabilise the backbone and tendons which connect to spinal muscles.
Injury to the spinal cord may result in varying levels of loss of function. More severe injuries may result in tetraplegia or paraplegia.