A Different View Of Life – Quadriplegia

Quadriplegia iieHealth

There are plenty of people in India who would have seen the film named Guzaarish. This film was significant on so many counts. This was the first film that touched upon the subject of mercy killing as well as the right of a person to end her or his own life if she or he is being unable to enjoy her or his life to the fullest. The film dealt with a disease named quadriplegia. It showed Hrithik Roshan, who played the male lead in this film, paralyzed from the waist down after suffering an accident at the behest of his rival magician. However, the best motion picture that has shown the disease in a more realistic form is Me Before You.

What Is Quadriplegia?

 

Quadriplegia is also referred to as tetraplegia. This is basically a medical condition where the patient’s lower extremities, upper extremities, or the entire torso or trunk gets paralyzed. It is basically a kind of cerebral palsy, where the symptoms are pretty severe. The main symptoms, in this case, are nerve damage that does not let the muscles move properly. It is also known to be the severest kind of cerebral palsy.

What Are The Causes Of Quadriplegia?

 

Quadriplegia normally happens because of a trauma or an injury to one’s spinal cord. There are several common causes in this case as well. There could be an injury or trauma to the neck. This could happen in a sports-related accident or a car accident. This could lead to a fracture in the patient’s cervical vertebrae. Quadriplegia could also happen because of a tumor in the spinal canal. This disease could also happen because of various other medical conditions. At times, diseases such as polio, spina bifida, and transverse myelitis could lead to quadriplegia as well.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Quadriplegia?

 

How severe one’s quadriplegia is, depends on where the injury or trauma is located.
Normally, if in these cases injuries happen in the higher reaches of the spinal cord, or the neck the injuries are the most severe. If such an injury happens it could paralyze both the arms and the legs of the patient. In this case, the patients would not be able to breathe without taking the help of a respirator. In case, the injury happens in the lower part of the patient’s spine then only the lower parts of one’s body and the legs could get paralyzed. Following are the main symptoms in this case:

  • incontinence in bladder and bowel areas
  • breathing in difficulty
  • sexual dysfunction
  • less sensation and numbness
  • impaired digestion
  • burning pain in the nerves
  • difficulty in breathing

How To Treat Quadriplegia?

 

The treatment of this disease depends on how severe one’s condition is and the specific needs that the patient has are also important in this regard. Treatment is normally directed in order to address the loss of sensation and functioning that a patient may suffer from in the regions of her or his body that have been paralyzed. At times, due to quadriplegia certain areas of one’s body could stop functioning and could be impaired as well.

So, in those cases treatment would be directed to those critical areas as well. In case one’s spinal cord has been bruised or swelled there is a chance that her or his nerves could start to work again. In this case, the patients are given steroids so that the spinal cord does not swell up and so that any such further occurrence could be prevented as well. If there is an injury the doctors would normally prescribe emergent treatment. This would make sure that the spine is not damaged any further. However, people need to be very clear about the fact – there is no medicine that would be able to reverse the effects of quadriplegia.

And Lastly

 

Surgery is perhaps the best possible option in this regard. If the patient can get it done immediately following an injury it can prove to be quite beneficial as well. It can help stabilize and support her or his bones and spinal vertebrae as well. In case there has been a fracture the spinal cord could get compressed by discs and bones. In such a situation surgery can help alleviate the pressure by realigning the bones and doing away with the bone fragments. With more surgeries and regular rehab, a patient’s condition could be improved significantly as well.

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