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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

spine C1-C8 spine T1-T12 spine L1-L5 sacrum

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

New Stem Cell Treatment for Paralysis
Shows Early Promise

The search for a stem cell treatment has long been the big hope – a kind of “holy grail” --for spinal cord injury research projects. It just makes sense--to medical researchers and neuroscientists as well the rest of us--that stem cell treatments ought to work.

Here’s why: Stem cells have the amazing potential to renew themselves, and to develop into many different types of cells in the body.  So injection of stem cells should logically be able to reverse or repair damage to the spinal cord and restore some feeling and movement after an injury.

...

More on Stem Cells for Paralysis

Facing Disability Blog

New Stem Cell Treatment for Paralysis
Shows Early Promise

The search for a stem cell treatment has long been the big hope – a kind of “holy grail” --for spinal cord injury research projects. It just makes sense--to medical researchers and neuroscientists as well the rest of us--that stem cell treatments ought to work.

Here’s why: Stem cells have the amazing potential to renew themselves, and to develop into many different types of cells in the body.  So injection of stem cells should logically be able to reverse or repair damage to the spinal cord and restore some feeling and movement after an injury.

More on Stem Cells for Paralysis

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