Experiencing a spinal cord injury (SCI) can be a debilitating and life-altering event that some Connecticut residents may face. The damage that they cause can result in a loss of mobility or feeling. If you or someone you know has recently suffered an SCI, it’s important to be aware of the different types of injuries and their effects.
The main types of SCIs
There are two main types of SCI: complete and incomplete. When someone has a complete SCI, there is typically no movement or sensation below the level of the injury. This condition is also called “quadriplegia.”
Those who experience an incomplete SCI will usually have some movement or sensation below the level of injury. The severity will vary. Incomplete SCIs are further broken down into partial SCIs, also called incomplete paraplegia, and anterior cord syndrome. Incomplete paraplegia refers to paralysis that affects only the legs while anterior cord syndrome leads to paralysis in both the legs and arms but preserves some sensation.
The most common type of complete SCI is a fracture-dislocation at the thoracic level, which is a serious injury that results in paralysis from the chest down. The second most common type of complete SCI is a fracture-dislocation at the cervical level, which results in paralysis from the neck down.
If you or someone you love has recently suffered an SCI, it’s important to be aware of all the different types of injuries so that you can better understand what to expect and how you and your loved ones can cope. Remember that you are not alone—there are many resources available to help you through this difficult time.