What happens if the spinal cord is cut?
Serious injuries may sever the spinal cord. What are the symptoms and complications? Is treatment possible? Here is the information in this article.
Causes of a spinal cord injury
The spinal cord is the basic unit of the nervous system and is responsible for sending and receiving nerve signals from all parts of the body in cooperation with the brain. Therefore, a disruption of the spinal cord may lead to the loss of many functions, such as: movement and sensation.
The main reason behind injury and severing the spinal cord is traffic accidents, accounting for 40% of injuries, but some other causes are also possible, including:
- Falling from high places.
- bullet injury
- Injuries resulting from practicing some types of sports such as diving.
- Vascular disorders.
- Tumors .
- Infections and infections.
- Cervical spondylosis.
- Fractures as a result of osteoporosis.
- Multiple sclerosis.
Types of spinal cord severing
Types of injury include the following:
- Complete Spinal Cord Injury: Complete injury means loss of movement and loss of sensation in all the nerves under the spinal cord injury.
- Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: Incomplete injury means sensation of some nerves, control of some muscles and their movement in the nerves under the area of the spinal cord.
Spinal cord sever symptoms
depend on the location of the cut and the severity of the injury.
- Paralysis. Quadriplegia can be paralysis of the feet, arms, hands, trunk, and internal pelvic organs, or it can be hemiplegia that affects the feet, trunk and entire pelvic organs.
- loss of mobility
- Loss of sensation, touch, and discrimination of heat and cold.
- Inability to control the excretion of waste and urine.
- Convulsions and involuntary reflexes.
- Problems with sexual function and reproduction.
- Pain and a constant tingling sensation as a result of damage to the nerve fibers in the spinal cord.
- breathing difficulties.
- Cough and phlegm.
Cutting the spinal cord leads to the following complications and consequences:
- Urinary tract infection and kidney: As a result of lack of bladder control, urine collection may lead to an increased risk of urinary tract infection and kidney infection.
- Blood pressure disorder: The interruption of the spinal cord may affect the circulatory system, leading to persistent hypotension or high pressure , and these disorders increase the risk of blood clots, such as: deep venous thrombosis or lung thrombosis.
- Pneumonia: The risk of persistent lung infection and breathing problems may increase, especially if the nerves responsible for the throat and breathing area are cut off.
- Muscular atrophy: Paralysis resulting from cutting the spinal cord leads to muscle atrophy and weakness, and lack of movement increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
- Depression: Spinal cord disruption affects mental health greatly, especially in the case of paralysis at a young age, which increases the risk of depression and suicidal ideation.
Diagnostics and treatment of spinal cord injury
Diagnosis is made by examining symptoms and performing radiological images, including: x-rays, CT scans , and magnetic resonance rays. As for treatment, there is unfortunately no cure so far, but all of them are palliative measures that help relieve pain, improve life and reduce the risk of complications, and the most prominent treatments on the following:
- Monitor regular blood pressure and heart rhythm.
- Take care to monitor the respiratory system and ensure the efficiency of the breathing process.
- Giving antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection.
- Performing surgeries to correct spinal vertebrae fractures.