• Hyun-Yoon Ko


Spinal cord injury or disease causes abnormalities in all body systems due to somatic dysfunction of motor and sensory and damage to the autonomic nerve system. Damage to the autonomic nervous system causes respiratory and cardiac dysfunction, temperature regulation disorders, insulin secretion, and many associated metabolic disorders. Immobilization due to voluntary motor dysfunction leads to pressure injuries and coughing impairments. Spinal cord injury involves more than just the direct injury to the spinal cord itself. The injury results in a range of disabilities and obstacles, ranging from physical limitations to social embarrassment. This chapter provides a brief history of spinal cord injury and describes the features and outline of spinal cord injury.


  1. Abrams GM, Ganguly K. Management of chronic spinal cord dysfunction. Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2015;21:188–200.Google Scholar
  2. Abramson AS. Advances in the management of the neurogenic bladder. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1971;52:143–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderberg L, Aldskogius H, Holz A. Spinal cord injury—scientific challenges for the unknown future. Ups J Med Sci. 2007;112:259–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bauman WA, Korsten MA, Radulovic M, et al. 31st g. Heiner sell lectureship: secondary medical consequences of spinal cord injury. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2012;18:354–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brawanski A. On the myth of the Edwin Smith papyrus: is it magic or science? Acta Neurochir. 2012;154:2285–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Breasted JH. Edwin Smith surgical papyrus in facsimile and hieroglyphic transliteration with translation and commentary. Chicago: University of Chicago Oriental Institute Publications; 1930.Google Scholar
  7. Burns S. Review of systems. In: Hammond MC, editor. Medical care of persons with spinal cord injury. Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs; 1998. p. p17–22.Google Scholar
  8. Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine. Clinical practice guidelines. Acute management of autonomic dysreflexia: individuals with spinal cord injury presenting to health-care facilities. Washington DC: Paralyzed Veterans of America; 2001.Google Scholar
  9. Denis F. The three-column spine and its significance in the classification of acute thoracolumbar spine injuries. Spine. 1983;8:817–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Denis F. Spinal instability as defined by the three-column spine concept in acute spinal trauma. Clin Orthop. 1984;189:65–76.Google Scholar
  11. Doherty JG, Burns AS, O’Ferrall DM, et al. Prevalence of upper motor neuron vs lower motor neuron lesions in complete lower thoracic and lumbar spinal cord injuries. J Spinal Cord Med. 2002;25:289–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dumont RJ, Okonkwo DO, Verma S, et al. Acute spinal cord injury, Part I: Pathologic mechanisms. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2001;24:254–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eagler GL, Cole J, Merton WL, editors. Spinal cord diseases: diagnosis and treatment. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.; 1998.Google Scholar
  14. Eltoral IM. Fatal spinal cord injury of the 20th president of the United States: day-by-day review of the clinical course, with comments. J Spinal Cord Med. 2004;27:330–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eltorai IM, Schmit JK (eds). Emergencies in chronic spinal cord injury patients. Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, New York; 2001.Google Scholar
  16. Fenis F. The three-column spine and its significance in the classification of acute thoracolumbar spine injuries. Spine. 1983;8:817–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Finnerup NB, Johannesen IL, Fulglsang-Frederiksen A, et al. Sensory function in spinal cord injury patients with and without central pain. Brain. 2003;125:57–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Frankel HL, Hancock DO, Hyslop G, et al. The value of postural reduction in the initial management of closed injuries of the spine with paraplegia and tetraplegia. Paraplegia. 1969;7:179–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ganz JC. Edwin Smith papyrus case 8: a reappraisal. J Neurosurg. 2014;120:1238–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gorman PH. The review of systems in spinal cord injury and dysfunction. Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2011;17(3. Neurorehabilitation):630–4.Google Scholar
  21. Guttman L. Spinal cord injuries. Comprehensive management and research. 2nd ed. London: Blackwell Science Ltd; 1976a.Google Scholar
  22. Guttman L. Historical back ground. In: Spinal cord injuries: comprehensive management and research. 2nd ed. London: Blackwell Scientific Publication, Oxford; 1976b. p. 1–8.Google Scholar
  23. Hammond FM, Horn SD, Smout RJ, et al. Acute rehospitalizations during inpatient rehabilitation for spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013;94:S98–S105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Holdsworth F. Fractures, dislocations and fracture-dislocation of the spine. J Bone Joint Surg. 1970;52-A:1534–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hughes JT. The Edwin Smith surgical papyrus: an analysis of the first case reports of spinal cord injuries. Paraplegia. 1988;26:71–82.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Jimenez O, Marcillo A, Levi AD. A histopathological analysis of the human cervical spinal cord in patients with acute traumatic central cord syndrome. Spinal Cord. 2000;38:532–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Knoeller SM, Seifried C. Historical perspective: history of spinal surgery. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2000;25:2838–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lifshutz J, Colohan A. A brief history of therapy for traumatic spinal cord injury. Neurosurg Focus. 2004;16:E5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Middleton JW, Dayton A, Walsh J, et al. Life expectancy after spinal cord injury: a 50-year study. Spinal Cord. 2012;50:803–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Norenberg MD, Smith J, Marcillo A. The pathology of human spinal cord injury: defining the problems. J Neurotrauma. 2004;21:429–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Peckham PH, Mortimer JT, Marsolais EB. Upper and lower motor neuron lesions in the upper extremity muscles of tetraplegia. Paraplegia. 1976;14:115–21.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Sezer N, Akkus S, Ugurlu FG. Chronic complications of spinal cord injury. World J Orthop. 2015;6:24–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Shavelle RM, DeVivo MJ, Brooks JC, et al. Improvements in long-term survival after spinal cord injury? Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015;96:645–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Silver JR. History of the treatment of spinal injuries. Postgrad Med J. 2005;81:108–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tator CH, Koyanagi I. Vascular mechanisms in the pathophysiology of human spinal cord injury. J Neurosurg. 1997;86:483–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. van Middendorp JJ, Sanchez GM, Burridge AL. The Edwin Smith papyrus: a clinical reappraisal of the oldest known document on spinal injuries. Our Spine J. 2010;19:1815–23.Google Scholar
  37. Wang D, El-Masry WS, Crumplin M, et al. Admiral Lord Nelson’s death: known and unknown—a historical review of the anatomy. Spinal Cord. 2005;43:573–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Suggested Reading

  1. Afifi AK, Bergman RA. Functional neuroanatomy: text and atlas. 2nd ed. New York: Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill; 2005.Google Scholar
  2. American Spinal Injury Association. International standards for neurological classification of spinal cord injury. Revised 2011. Updated 2015th ed. Atlanta: American Spinal Injury Association; 2015.Google Scholar
  3. Buchanan LE, Nawoczenski DA, editors. Spinal cord injury-concepts and management approaches. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1987.Google Scholar
  4. Byrne TN, Benzel EC, Waxman SG. Diseases of the spine and spinal cord. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2000.Google Scholar
  5. Campbell WW. DeJong’s the neurologic examination. 7th ed. New York: Wolters Kluwer Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1992.Google Scholar
  6. Chhabra HS, editor. ISCoS textbook on comprehensive management of spinal cord injuries. New Delhi: Wolters Kluwer; 2015.Google Scholar
  7. Durrant DH, True JM. Myelopathy, radiculopathy, and peripheral entrapment syndromes. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2002.Google Scholar
  8. Eagler GL, Cole J, Merton WL, editors. Spinal cord diseases: diagnosis and treatment. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.; 1998.Google Scholar
  9. Felten DL, O’Banion MK, Maida MS. Netter’s atlas of neuroscience. 3rd ed. London: Elsevier; 2016.Google Scholar
  10. Fulton JF, Keller AD. The sign of Babinski: a study of the evolution of cortical dominance in primates. Springfield: Charles C Thomas; 1932.Google Scholar
  11. Guttmann L. Spinal cord injuries. Comprehensive management and research. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications; 1976.Google Scholar
  12. Harvey L. Management of spinal cord injuries. A guide for physiotherapists. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone; 2008.Google Scholar
  13. Hattingen E, Klein JC, Weidauer S, Vrionis F, Setzer M, editors. Diseases of the spinal cord. Heidelberg: Springer; 2015.Google Scholar
  14. Jallo J, Vaccaro AR, editors. Neurotrauma and critical care of the spine. 2nd ed. New York: Thieme; 2018.Google Scholar
  15. Kirshblum S, Campagnolo DI, editors. Spinal cord medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2011.Google Scholar
  16. Lin VW. Spinal cord medicine. principles and practice. 2nd ed. New York: Demos Medical; 2010.Google Scholar
  17. Mancall E. Gray’s clinical neuroanatomy: the anatomic basis for clinical neuroscience. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2011.Google Scholar
  18. Mtuid E, Gruener G, Dockery P. Fitzgerald’s clinical neuroanatomy and neuroscience. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2016.Google Scholar
  19. Neuburger M. The historical development of experimental brain and spinal cord physiology before Flourens. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press; 1981.Google Scholar
  20. Noback CR, Strominger NL, Demarest RJ, Ruggiero DA. The human nervous system: structure and function. 6th ed. Totoma: Humana Press; 2005.Google Scholar
  21. Patestas MA, Gartner LP. A test book of neuroanatomy. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing; 2006.Google Scholar
  22. Patten J. Neurological differential diagnosis. 2nd ed. London: Springer; 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Snell RS. Clinical neuroanatomy. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer; 2010.Google Scholar
  24. Somers MF. Spinal cord injury. Functional rehabilitation. 3rd ed. New York: Pearson; 2010.Google Scholar
  25. Verhaagen J, McDonald JW III. Spinal cord injury. In: Aminoff MJ, Boller F, Swaab DF, editors. Handbook of clinical neurology, 3rd series, vol. 109. London: Elsevier; 2012.Google Scholar
  26. Vinken PJ, Bruyn GW, editors. Injuries of the spine and spinal cord. Part I. Handbook of clinical neurology, vol. 25. Oxford: North-Holland Publishing Company; 1976.Google Scholar
  27. Vinken PJ, Bruyn GW, editors. Injuries of the spine and spinal cord. Part II. Handbook of clinical neurology, vol. 25. Oxford: North-Holland Publishing Company; 1976.Google Scholar
  28. Vodusek DB, Boller F. Neurology of sexual and bladder disorders. In: Aminoff MJ, Boller F, Swaab DF, editors. Handbook of clinical neurology, vol. 130. 3rd ed. London: Elsevier; 2015.Google Scholar
  29. Weidner N, Rupp R, Taney KE, editors. Neurological aspects of spinal cord injury. Cham: Springer; 2017.Google Scholar
  30. Windle WF. The spinal cord and its reaction to traumatic injury. In: Bousquet WF, Palmer RF, editors. Modern pharmacology-toxicology: a series of monographs and textbooks. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.; 1980.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyun-Yoon Ko
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineRehabilitation Hospital, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Pusan National University School of MedicineYangsanSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations