We've collaborated with the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre on a series to supplement education programmes in Spinal Units.
Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury
Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury (TSCI) is a serious and potentially life-altering medical condition. It can cause severe physical disability, paralysis, and long-term complications. It can be caused by a number of events, including vehicle accidents, falls, sports injuries, and acts of violence. In this article, we will explore the causes of traumatic spinal cord injury, its potential complications, causes and strategies for recovery. We will also look at how TSCI can impact one’s quality of life and how it can be prevented.
Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Causes
Traumatic spinal cord injuries (TSCIs) are caused by a sudden, traumatic event that causes damage to the spinal cord. Common causes include car and motorcycle accidents, falls, sports-related injuries, and violence. In some cases, these types of injuries are caused by medical conditions such as tumors or infections.
The severity of a TSCI depends on the level of trauma sustained, as well as the specific location of the injury. For example, an injury to the cervical spine (neck area) is more likely to cause paralysis than an injury to the lumbar spine (lower back). Generally, it can be categorized into two broad categories: complete and incomplete. Complete TSCIs involve a total loss of motor or sensory function below the level of injury, whereas incomplete TSCIs involve some degree of functioning below the level of injury.
Car accidents are the leading cause of disease in the United States, with falls being the second most common cause. Injuries sustained while playing contact sports are becoming increasingly prevalent, as are those caused by violence or self-inflicted trauma. In addition, medical conditions such as tumors or infections can cause TSCIs if they press on the spinal cord.
It is important to note that it can be both preventable and unpreventable. Wearing a seat belt while driving, wearing protective gear while participating in contact sports, and avoiding dangerous activities can reduce the likelihood of sustaining a TSCI. However, in many cases, a traumatic event is completely out of the person's control and thus unavoidable.