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What is a spinal cord injury?

What is a spinal cord injury?

David Chen, MD

Medical Director, Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Read Bio More Videos by David Chen
Transcript
When we think about spinal cord injuries, we most commonly think about a traumatic injury—someone who has been either in an auto crash, has had a fall or perhaps a victim of an act of violence. And in all these different instances, what has happene... Show More

When we think about spinal cord injuries, we most commonly think about a traumatic injury—someone who has been either in an auto crash, has had a fall or perhaps a victim of an act of violence. And in all these different instances, what has happened is a tremendous amount of energy has been transmitted to the body, which is also felt by the spine and the spinal cord. So what happens is, the spinal cord is injured—like a bruising injury. That’s the most common type of spinal cord injury. If I were to go up to an individual and give him in a punch in the arm—if I hit him hard enough, they would see a bruise on their arm. Similarly, a person who has had a spinal cord injury, it’s as if their spinal cord, that structure, has taken a punch. What happens, like any part of the body that sustains that type of injury, is they develop a small amount of bleeding and bruising. And that bleeding and bruising, in addition to the swelling that occurs after an injury, can cause the nerves not to function normally, and block the signals to and from the body. That is a spinal cord injury.

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What is a spinal cord injury?

David Chen, MD

Medical Director, Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

More Videos by David Chen
Transcriptadd

When we think about spinal cord injuries, we most commonly think about a traumatic injury—someone who has been either in an auto crash, has had a fall or perhaps a victim of an act of violence. And in all these different instances, what has happened is a tremendous amount of energy has been transmitted to the body, which is also felt by the spine and the spinal cord. So what happens is, the spinal cord is injured—like a bruising injury. That’s the most common type of spinal cord injury. If I were to go up to an individual and give him in a punch in the arm—if I hit him hard enough, they would see a bruise on their arm. Similarly, a person who has had a spinal cord injury, it’s as if their spinal cord, that structure, has taken a punch. What happens, like any part of the body that sustains that type of injury, is they develop a small amount of bleeding and bruising. And that bleeding and bruising, in addition to the swelling that occurs after an injury, can cause the nerves not to function normally, and block the signals to and from the body. That is a spinal cord injury.

What is a spinal cord injury?
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