After a spinal cord injury impacts you or someone in your family, it can be difficult to understand the implications of the injury for your family. Between inaccurate representations of spinal cord injuries in popular media and many confusing medical terms, it can be hard to understand the injury and its implications. Learning the jargon of spinal cord injuries will help you better communicate.
There are several qualifying terms that medical professionals apply to spinal cord injuries. They often describe them as incomplete or complete depending on the degree of damage to the cord itself. They also typically classify the injury based on how much of the body it impacts. What do the terms tetraplegia or quadriplegia mean for someone with a spinal cord injury?
Tetraplegia and quadriplegia are actually the same thing
Paraplegia is the medical term for the loss of motor function in the legs as the result of a spinal cord injury. Tetraplegia or quadriplegia are both terms that reference the loss of control and sensation in the legs, arms and torso.
Quadriplegia typically results from spinal cord injuries that occur in the neck, as opposed to lower down the back. Tetraplegia has many implications for the person hurt, including increased medical costs and the need for more assistive technology when compared with paraplegia.
While those with complete spinal cord injuries that produce quadriplegia will not recover motor function, they can still live fulfilling and happy lives with proper support and financial resources to offset the costs of their care. Both those with serious cervical spinal injuries and their families may need to look at insurance claim options, as well as the right to file a personal injury claim against a driver or a company with liability after an accident leads to a spinal cord injury.