Categories and degrees of spinal cord injury Treatment | Apokos Rehabilitation
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Sponal Cord Injury

What are the Degrees and Categories of Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injuries are of many degrees and can have extremely adverse effects on the body. They result in different types of post-injury conditions. There are mainly two degrees of spinal cord injury:

Incomplete spinal cord injury: This form of an injury results in the spinal cord being partially severed. The injured person is, however, able to retain some functional abilities.

There are three major types of incomplete spinal cord injury:

Anterior Cord Syndrome – Injury to the front portion of the spinal cord.

Central Cord Syndrome – Injury to the central part of the spinal cord.

Brown-Sequard Syndrome – Injury to one whole side of the spinal cord.

Complete spinal cord injury:

In this case, the spinal cord is completely severed, resulting in a halt to every kind of functional capability. This kind of spinal cord injury may even lead to a state of paralysis. Injury can occur to any part of the spinal cord. Depending on the gravity of the injury, appropriate treatment processes must be conducted without delay. The major categories of spinal cord injury are:

Paraplegia: This is also known as Hemiplegia. Paraplegia is a condition in which there is an impairment of sensory and motor sensations of lower extremities. This results from a negative effect to the neural or brain-related elements of the spinal cord. The areas of the spine affected due to paraplegia are the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral.

Quadriplegia: This is also medically called Tetraplegia. This is a form of paralysis caused due to injury to the spine, which mainly affects the limbs and the torso. Both sensations, as well as control, are lost after such an injury. There can also be a loss of control over bladder, bowel, digestion, and breathing.

Triplegia: This results from an injury to the spine, causing paralysis in three limbs. This condition is also called Triplegia Muscle Anatomy. There is no specific pattern in the impairment of limbs, but usually, two arms and one leg are affected in this kind of spine injury. Although this may be categorized as a form of spinal cord injury, it is commonly associated with cerebral palsy.

Spinal cord injuries are of varying degrees, leading to either complete or partial paralysis. Medical care must be provided to the patients, at the earliest. However, treatment should not be stopped right after medical assistance at the hospital. Patients must be taken through the process of spinal cord injury rehabilitation for maximum possible recovery.

For more details on the rehabilitation processes post-hospitalization, visit


Dr Subba Reddy