Traumatic Spinal Injury

Injuries to the spinal cord can be life threatening or life changing to the patient. The spinal cord is the nervous tissue link between the brain and the rest of the body. Nerves conveying impulses from the brain to various organs and tissues descend through the spinal cord. At the appropriate level they leave the cord between the adjacent vertebrae and pass to the structure they supply. In a similar way the sensory nerves from organs and tissues enter and pass upwards through the spinal cord to the brain. At any point along the cord if damage were to happen, the link between the organs and tissues would be weakened or broken, resulting in a disruption, and possible loss of communication between the brain and structures below the injury. In this section we will review spinal cord injury and what management a patient may need.

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