People can injure their spines in many ways, often with permanent medical repercussions. Spinal cord injuries often have life-long consequences, especially if the spinal cord has been fully severed.
Paraplegia and quadriplegia are among the best-known and most serious conditions that can result from a spinal cord injury. What is the major difference between the two?
The location of the injury
The symptoms someone experiences and the diagnosis they receive after a spinal cord injury will largely depend on the location of the injury on their spine. The higher on the spine the injury is, the larger the portion of the body that will experience sensory and motor function losses.
Generally, those diagnosed with paraplegia will have an injury to the spine that occurs below the shoulders, while quadriplegia can result from an injury to the neck or cervical spine.
The terms relate to the impact on function
Quadriplegia and paraplegia are actually descriptive terms that reference the physical impact of spinal cord injuries. Paraplegia involves the loss of function in two limbs, while quadriplegia affects all four limbs.
Part of these words comes from Greek, but quadriplegia also includes a Latin prefix. It is not uncommon for doctors to refer to quadriplegia as tetraplegia instead. and they may use those terms interchangeably.
Obviously, those with quadriplegia will have more limitations and expenses than those with paraplegia, but both groups will need medical support in compensation to adjust to life with their severe injuries.
Learning more about spinal cord injuries can help you seek the compensation you need if the fall, car crash or other incident that caused it was someone else’s fault.