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Coping with
Spinal Cord Injury

FacingDisability.com connects families who suddenly have to deal with a spinal cord injury to people like them who have already been there.

REAL PEOPLE,
REAL EXPERIENCES

Everybody in these videos
is living with a spinal cord injury

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 REAL PEOPLE, REAL EXPERIENCES

Everybody in these videos
is living with a spinal cord injury 

CLICK ON A PERSON TO WATCH THEIR VIDEO

WHAT THE
EXPERTS SAY

Top medical experts
focus on important SCI topics

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WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY

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ANIMATED SCI LEVELS CHART

Mouse over the spinal column to see how the level of injury affects loss of function and control

More About Spinal Cord Injury

Cervical Injuries

Cervical injuries above the C-4 level may require a ventilator for the person to breathe. C-5 injuries often result in shoulder and biceps control, but no control at the wrist or hand. C-6 injuries generally yield wrist control, but no hand function. Individuals with C-7, C-8 and T-1 injuries can straighten their arms, but still may have problems with their hands.

Thoracic Injuries

The first thoracic vertebra, T-1, is located approximately at the same level as the top rib. Injuries to nerves in this region usually affect the chest and the legs, and result in paraplegia. For injuries from T-1 to T-8, there is usually control of the hands but lack of abdominal muscle control. (Individuals with injuries from T-1 to T-6 are also at risk for Autonomic Dysreflexia)

Lumbar Injuries

Injuries to nerves in the area of L-1 to L-5 generally result in some loss of functioning of the hips and legs. Bowel, bladder and sexual function may also be impacted.

Sacral Injuries

The sacrum runs from the pelvis to the end of the spinal column. Injuries to nerves in this area generally result in some loss of functioning of the hips, legs, ankles, and feet. Loss of control of bowel and bladder and sexual functions is also common.

ANIMATED SCI LEVELS CHART

Mouse over the spinal column to see how the level of injury affects loss of function and control

More About Spinal Cord Injury

Cervical Injuries

Cervical injuries above the C-4 level may require a ventilator for the person to breathe. C-5 injuries often result in shoulder and biceps control, but no control at the wrist or hand. C-6 injuries generally yield wrist control, but no hand function. Individuals with C-7, C-8 and T-1 injuries can straighten their arms, but still may have problems with their hands.

Thoracic Injuries

The first thoracic vertebra, T-1, is located approximately at the same level as the top rib. Injuries to nerves in this region usually affect the chest and the legs, and result in paraplegia. For injuries from T-1 to T-8, there is usually control of the hands but lack of abdominal muscle control. (Individuals with injuries from T-1 to T-6 are also at risk for Autonomic Dysreflexia)

Lumbar Injuries

Injuries to nerves in the area of L-1 to L-5 generally result in some loss of functioning of the hips and legs. Bowel, bladder and sexual function may also be impacted.

Sacral Injuries

The sacrum runs from the pelvis to the end of the spinal column. Injuries to nerves in this area generally result in some loss of functioning of the hips, legs, ankles, and feet. Loss of control of bowel and bladder and sexual functions is also common.

Facing Disability Blog

"Reasonable Accommodations" For All - Not Just Me
By Ben Mattlin

This summer, at the age of 57, I was finally able to fill out my own census form. In the past, I've had to have my wife do it for both of us. But this year, for the first time ever, it was online and therefore accessible to me.

Because of my disability, a form of spinal muscular atrophy, I can no longer hold a pen or manipulate paper. But thanks to adaptive technology, I can click a mouse.

These days “reasonable accommodations” apply to everyone—not just people like me.

Take, for example, voting.

...

READ MORE

Facing Disability Blog

"Reasonable Accommodations" For All - Not Just Me
By Ben Mattlin

This summer, at the age of 57, I was finally able to fill out my own census form. In the past, I've had to have my wife do it for both of us. But this year, for the first time ever, it was online and therefore accessible to me.

Because of my disability, a form of spinal muscular atrophy, I can no longer hold a pen or manipulate paper. But thanks to adaptive technology, I can click a mouse.

These days “reasonable accommodations” apply to everyone—not just people like me.

Take, for example, voting.

Read More

View Blog

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