Spinal Cord Injuries

  • Fred H. Geisler

Abstract

Approximately 200,000 people in the United States have spinal cord injuries (SCI), and approximately 10,000 new injuries occur annually. Most of the new victims are between 18 and 30 years old. The lifetime costs of paraplegia for such patients can exceed several million dollars in medical support and lost wages. The potential mechanisms of injury include compression, distraction, acceleration-deceleration, and shearing forces, as well as direct transection from penetrating injuries. The clinical spectrum of SCI varies greatly. Some injuries involve massive transverse mechanical disruption of all neurologic tissue in the spinal cord; it is unlikely that any medical, surgical, or pharmacologic intervention can improve neurologic recovery and prevent lifelong disability in these instances. In approximately 60% of the acute traumatic injuries, however, the mechanical injury to the spinal cord is more limited, and a partial neurologic injury is observed on clinical examination. In these patients, a portion of the ultimate nervous tissue dysfunction appears to result from secondary processes such as local biochemical derangements, systemic hemodynamic consequences of the injury, or delayed mechanical movement of fracture fragments (1–8). The treatment of these secondary processes forms the basis of medical or surgical therapy.

Keywords

Spinal Cord Injury Functional Independence Measure American Spinal Injury Association Acute Spinal Cord Injury Spinal Cord Injury 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred H. Geisler
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Chicago Institute of Neurosurgery and NeuroresearchChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Rush UniversityChicagoUSA

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