What are the different types of spinal cord injury?
The position of the damage to the spinal cord influences the resulting impacts on your body. If you damage the spinal cord in your back you may suffer paraplegia, which affects the movement and sensation in your legs and possibly your stomach muscles. Damage higher up the cord in your neck is known as tetraplegia and can impact all four limbs as well as muscles in your stomach and chest.
Healthcare professionals use certain terminology to describe the level and type of injury sustained. While it may appear confusing at first, it is relatively straightforward with a little explanation.
The terms ‘complete’ and ‘incomplete’ refer to the type of injury sustained. If your injury is complete this means that there will be no function below the level of the injury which will affect movement and sensation and both sides of your body are affected. If you still have some function or sensation below the damage, your injury is incomplete, and this is due to the brain being able to send some signals below the level of injury.