e d g e
- education for disability and gender equity
SPINAL CORD INJURY
Spinal Cord and Vertebrae
People with spinal cord injuries have a huge range of disabilities because the impact of an injury depends a great deal on where on the spinal cord the messages have been interrupted. The brain and the spinal cord constitute the Central Nervous System.
Motor and sensory nerves control involuntary functions such as blood pressure and temperature regulation.
The spinal cord is surrounded by rings of bone called vertebra. These bones constitute the spinal column (back bones). In general, the higher in the spinal cord the injury occurs, the more dysfunction a person will experience.
The vertebra are named according to their location. The eight vertebra in the neck are called the Cervical Vertebra. The top vertebra is called C-1, the next is C-2, etc.
SCIs usually cause loss of function in the arms and legs, resulting
The twelve vertebra in the chest are called the Thoracic Vertebra. The first thoracic vertebra, T-1, is the vertebra where the top rib attaches. Injuries in the thoracic region usually affect the chest and the legs and result in paraplegia.
The vertebra in the lower back - between the thoracic vertebra, where the ribs attach, and the pelvis (hip bone), are the Lumbar Vertebra. The sacral vertebra run from the pelvis to the end of the spinal column.
Injuries to the five Lumbar vertebra (L-1 thru L-5) and similarly to the five Sacral Vertebra (S-1 thru S-5) generally result in some loss of functioning in the hips and legs.
on the type of injury people may have full, partial or no control over
their bowel and bladder function. Sex and pregnancy (with some modifications)
are almost always possible after a spinal injury.