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Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury in Delhi

Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord is the most crucial structure between our brain and body. This tube like structure extends from medullaoblongata in the brainstem to the bottom of the spine (lumbar region of the vertebral column). Spinal Cord and Brain together form our CNS (Central Nervous System).

A Spinal Cord Injury or SCI is damage or injury to one or more parts of the spinal cord, leading to temporary or permanent changes in function, sensation or strength of the site of injury as well as body functions served by spinal cord. Based on the intensity and location of injury, the symptoms of SCI may vary from pain and numbness to paralysis and incontinence.

Classification of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal Cord Injuries are broadly classified into the following two categories:

  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries – This involves injuries that partially affect the sensory and motor functions of the cord. Patient is able to retain some functions that depend upon the degree of injury. More than 60% of spinal cord injuries are incomplete injuries and this shows that we are progressing towards better healthcare outcomes, with the help of advanced technology and clinical expertise. Some of the most common types of incomplete spinal cord injuries are:
  • Anterior Cord Syndrome
  • Central Cord Syndrome
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome
  • Complete Spinal Cord Injuries – Thisr efers to the injuries that cause total loss of muscle function and sensation. However, timely treatment and physical therapy may be helpful in regaining some functions.

Based on the nature of injury, doctors also classify SCI as listed below:

  • Tetraplegia (also known as Quadriplegia) – Injury to the cervical spinal cord leading to varied degrees of paralysis of all limbs.
  • Paraplegia – Injury that causes loss of sensation and movement from lower half of the body (including legs).
  • Triplegia – Kind of incomplete injury that leads to loss of movement and sensation from both the legs and one arm.

Most Common Signs & Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries include:

  • Loss of ability to feel touch, hot or cold sensations,
  • Varying degree of paralysis including paraplegia, triplegia or tetraplegia,
  • Chronic muscle pain and headache,
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control,
  • Difficulty in breathing and coughing,
  • Fertility and libido loss,
  • Nerve pain and stinging sensation,
  • Severe back or neck pain,
  • Difficulty in movement, both walking and balancing, and
  • Numbness in the fingers, hands, toes or feet.

Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury

Prompt emergency care is crucial in increasing the chances of survival and decreasing the chances of long-term effects after spinal cord injury. Listed below are the various treatment options depending upon the extent of injury:

  • Providing Basic Life Support so that further injury to the spine can be prevented. Ensuring that arrangements for breathing and feeding is done. Immobilising the spine is also a crucial part of pre-hospital treatment.
  • Medical Management – If the injury is minor, your doctor will put you on medication for pain relief.
  • Maintaining Healthy Lifestyle by taking balanced diet, exercising and quitting smoking.
  • Physical Therapy under expert supervision helps in speedy recovery from spinal cord injury. It aids in regaining mobility and strength.
  • Surgical Management – Surgical Decompression through Laminectomy is considered as a standard treatment for acute SCI.

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