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- education for disability and gender equity
SPINAL CORD INJURY
Effects of Spinal Cord Injury
The effects of SCI depend on the type of injury and the level of the injury. SCI can be divided into two types of injury - complete and incomplete. A complete injury means that there is no function below the level of the injury; no sensation and no voluntary movement.
Both sides of the body are equally affected. An incomplete injury means that there is some functioning below the primary level of the injury.
A person with an incomplete injury may be able to move one limb more than another, may be able to feel parts of the body that cannot be moved, or may have more functioning on one side of the body than the other. With the advances in acute treatment of SCI, incomplete injuries are becoming more common.
Approximately 450,000 people live with SCI in the US. There are about 8,000 new SCIs every year; the majority of them (82%) involve males between the ages of 16-30.
These injuries result from motor vehicle accidents (42%), violence (24%), or falls (22%). Quadriplegia is slightly more common than paraplegia.
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