Levels of Function in Spinal Cord Injury Video

Spinal cord injuries range from minor to severe, the labeling of these injuries can sometimes be confusing. This video explains the different severities of these labels, as well as explain exactly what areas are affected by these injuries.
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Hi, I am Marcy from BrainAndSpinalCord.org. Today, I will be bringing you some information on the levels of function in spinal cord injury. Be sure to check the website for relevant links and re-cope of this article. If you or a lot one has sustained a spinal cord injury, you have most likely heard a doctor or medical team classified the injury with a letter or number such as C4 or T2. What are those letters and numbers mean? These letters and numbers referred to the levels of function, a spinal cord injury survivor has after the injury. Before I get in to the specific levels of function, I would like to go over how does human spinal cord works as well as the impact of spinal cord injuries. The human spinal cords act the condiment between the brain and the rest of the body relaying messages. When the spinal cord is bruise, crash or torn, the messages sent between the brain and the body no longer float to the damage area of the spinal cord. What does this mean? It means that the functions of the body located above the point of injury will continue to upgrade normally while the functions below the point of injury will suffer some debri of impairment including motor deficits, sensory deficit, bowel and bladder dysfunction and respiratory difficulties. The letters and numbers that doctor referred to after a spinal cord injury are use to identify where along this spinal cord the injury occurred. The higher the point of injury, the greater the impairment. So little injuries occur on the cervical area of the spine, an injury that occurs in the C1 to C3 area results in limited movement of a head and neck only with paralysis below that region. In many cases, the survivors of C1 to C3 injuries have difficulty talking and require the use of a ventilator debri. Survivors with C3 to C4 injuries have had a neck movement as well as the limited children movement. They are typically able to talk and can eventually adjust to breathing without a ventilator. Those with C5 level injuries generally have had neck and shoulder control and can bend the elbows and rotate their hands. At this level, self care is manageable. Survivors with this level of injury can obtain postpartum wheelchair and driving as frequent possible with adapted equipment. A C6 level injury results in movement of the head, neck, shoulder, arms and wrist including the ability to bend the elbows, extend the wrist and rotate palms. The population who falls into this category is generally able to perform most self care duties, can perform light house keeping and can manage a manual wheel chair. Thus with C7 injuries have similar abilities as those with C6 injuries that can manage more easily. Injuries that occur at T level of the spinal cord occurring at the thoracic region of the spine. If you or your love one has been diagnosed with the C8 to T1 level injury in addition to the use of the head, neck, shoulder, arms and hands, the fingers will also be able to be use. Survivors with injuries in this range are generally able to live independently. Survivors with T2 to T6 have normal function in the upper body that has some degree of impairment in the legs. Some can walk with system devices and those with T7 to T2 level injuries have similar function with slightly more control. L level injuries occur in the lumbar region in the spine and survivors generally have some ability to move the hips and knees. With this type injury, walking is often possible with the system devices. These conclude our segment on the level of function and spinal cord injury. Remember to check our website for the most updating information including resources and tips regarding brain and spinal cord injuries and thanks again for watching.

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