Quadriplegia: incomplete, causes, symptoms

Quadriplegia, also known as quadriplegia, is a condition of paralysis that affects all four limbs of the body. Spinal cord injury follows an elevated site level located above the fifth cervical vertebra, in most cases following trauma or accident. Clarifications with Dr. Laura Terrier.

Definition: What does quadriplegia mean?

Quadriplegia is defined by Paralysis of all four parts of the body caused by spinal cord injury (marrow)“, summarizes Dr. Laura Terrier, neurosurgeon. The damage affects the spinal cord and the transmission of nerve impulses no longer occurs at the level of the nerve roots located below the lesion. It generally accompanies Bladder and sphincter disorders associated with fracture or dislocation of the cervical vertebrae. Road accident is one of the most common causes. Paralysis, represented by the inability to provide any movement, is accompanied by a Numbness in the same areas With loss of sensation of pain, touch. It causes a significant disability, as the person becomes dependent on all the gestures of everyday life. The independence of a quadriplegic patient is variable, and depends only on the remaining functions of his upper limbs, this is confirmed by Victim Assistance Association 2AV. If they are completely paralyzed, the patient is completely dependent on the people around him for the slightest actions of daily life.

What is complete or incomplete quadriplegia?

A distinction is made between complete and incomplete quadriplegia. “talking about Complete quadriplegia is when there is a complete loss of sensation and motor skills below a spinal cord injuryquadriplegia incomplete (tetraparesis) if sensitivity and / or voluntary movement down the lesion persists, Especially in the perineum area‘, details of the specialist. Usually quadriplegia is caused by a lesion above the first dorsal vertebraso cervical lesion.

What is flaccid quadriplegia?

The flaccid quadriplegia is known as a Paralysis not related to spasticity‘ the doctor answers.

What is spastic quadriplegia?

Spastic quadriplegia is characterized by a spastic paralysisthat’s to say Excessive involuntary muscle contraction and stiffness“.

What are the differences between hemiplegia and quadriplegia?

Depending on the location of the central nervous system lesion, we will talk about:
Quadriplegia (or quadriplegia):It is paralysis of the four limbs due to an injury to the spinal cord (at the level of the cervical vertebrae).”

► “The paraplegia Related to paralysis of the lower extremities due to spinal cord injury (at the level of the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae)
► Finally, hemiplegia It is paralysis of one half of the body (upper and lower extremities) due to an injury to the corresponding brain.

What are the symptoms of quadriplegia?

Symptoms are located below the spinal cord injuryE, confirms our interlocutor.
Symptoms Motors : lack or loss of motor skills (loss of walking and standing, moving in a wheelchair), muscle spasms or spasms Especially when paralysis is not complete.
Symptoms sensitive : Decreased or lost skin sensitivity.
pain ;
Symptoms respiratory (associated with paralysis of the respiratory muscles): can range from mild difficulty breathing to a respiratory failure which becomes very important in very severe lesions (the neck) in which the diaphragm is paralyzed;
Symptoms Digestive : Intestinal transit disorders, constipation, diarrhea, etc.
Symptoms urinary Urinary incontinence or conversely urinary retention
Symptoms Sexual Erection and ejaculation disorder, frigidity…
Paralysis is responsible for significant disability with loss of independence in all gestures of daily living.
“Long-term complications associated with disability can occur. They are for:

  • Digestive Urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder stones, intestinal obstruction
  • heart and blood vessels : phlebitis and pulmonary embolism
  • bony : fractures and deformities
  • dermatology bed pain

What are the causes of quadriplegia?

The cause of quadriplegia by spinal cord injury. The spinal cord is located in the canal formed by the vertebral column. “It is the structure through which all the nerves control movement and sensitivity but also other functions such as controlling the sphincter, The doctor continues. Thus, a spinal cord injury leads to a disruption in the transmission of nerve impulses at the level of the nerve roots located below.“.”In more than half of cases, the lesion is caused by trauma, including road and sports accidents, especially vertebral fractures that lead to the spinal cord section. In other cases, the reasons may be :

  • degenerative (Cervical disc herniation, cervical myelopathy – osteoporosis)
  • intended (tuberculosis)
  • infections (Guillain-Barré syndrome, multiple sclerosis)
  • Blood vessels (deep vein thrombosis)
  • Distorting drugs and tumors

What are the consequences of quadriplegia?

Caused by quadriplegia loss of voluntary use of all four limbs, 2 legs and arms“The consequences depend on the location of the injury and the extent of the injury.”When the lesion is at the level of the first cervical vertebra, the risk It is paralysis of the four limbs and shortness of breath. That is, the patient may depend on a ventilator. When the lesion is at the level of the last cervical vertebra, Paralysis can affect the lower extremities.”

The diagnosis of quadriplegia is PatientsDr. adds. Terrier. It can be confirmed by viewing the spinal cord lesion on a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

Can quadriplegia be treated?

There is no cure for spinal cord repair and quadriplegia

Treating the cause, i.e. spinal cord injury, is complex and can be medical or surgical. “The prognosis depends on the level of the lesion and the speed of treatment. The surgical treatment fit me Spinal cord decompression and/or repair of unstable vertebrae (osteosynthesis or arthrodesis),“The specialist concludes. Currently, in the case of complete quadriplegia, there is no cure for spinal cord repair and treatment for quadriplegia. Treatment of the consequences, the disability, is essential.”To become dependent on all the gestures of daily life“. multidisciplinary care (Doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and clinical psychologists) is then possible. “Its goals are Relieve symptoms, improve healing, and improve self-reliance Sick, especially in daily life gestures. It falls on re-educationand prevention and treatment or treatment Concomitant complications (gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, bone, skin). Note that it is possible to submit an application to the MDPH (Disabled Management Home) in your residence department in order to have your disability recognized and to benefit from rights and assistance (social worker, housing …)In the case of quadriplegia, independence is often precarious or even impossible for many basic gestures, recalls the APF France website for the disabled. Third party help Then it is necessary in daily activities as well as in basic care (urinary and intestinal problems, prevention of wounds – sores – skin due to immobility and inability to perceive pain, etc.).

Thanks to Dr. Laura Terrier, Neurosurgeon at Rouen University Hospital.

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