Typical common causes of damage to the spinal cord, are trauma (car/motorcycle accident, gunshot, falls, sports injuries, etc), or disease (Transverse Myelitis, Polio, Spina Bifida, Friedreich’s Ataxia, etc.). The resulting damage to the spinal cord is known as a lesion, and the paralysis is known as quadriplegia or quadraplegia / tetraplegia if the injury is in the cervical (neck) region or as paraplegia if the injury is in the thoracic, lumbar or sacral region.
What is a Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
There are typically two types of lesions associated with a spinal cord injury, these are known as a complete spinal cord injury and an incomplete spinal cord injury. A complete type of injury means the person is completely paralysed below their lesion. Whereas an incomplete injury, means only part of the spinal cord is damaged. A person with an incomplete injury may have sensation below their lesion but no movement, or visa versa. There are many types in incomplete spinal cord injuries, and no two are the same.
The spinal cord is surrounded by rings of bone called vertebra. These bones constitute the spinal column (back bones). In general, the higher in the spinal column the injury occurs, the more dysfunction a person will experience. The vertebra are named according to their location
Effects of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
The effects of SCI depend on the type of injury and the level of the injury. SCI can be divided into two types of injury – complete and incomplete. A complete injury means that there is no function below the level of the injury; no sensation and no voluntary movement. Both sides of the body are equally affected. An incomplete injury means that there is some functioning below the primary level of the injury. A person with an incomplete injury may be able to move one limb more than another, may be able to feel parts of the body that cannot be moved, or may have more functioning on one side of the body than the other. With the advances in acute treatment of SCI, incomplete injuries are becoming more common.
Because the majority of people suffering from spinal cord injuries are men of reproductive age, the question of fertility is a very important one. Women may experience an interruption in ovulation for a year or so after their injury, but then their ovulation and hormonal levels generally return to normal. For men, however, spinal cord injuries can result in a permanent loss of fertility.
The pressures of infertility for these men can add a great deal of stress to an already difficult situation. Many men with spinal cord injuries can achieve erections sufficient to perform intercourse, depending on the completeness of their injury. However, only a very small number of these men can successfully father a child on their own. There are two major factors that cause infertility in men with SCI: ejaculatory dysfunction and low sperm quality.
Causes of Spinal cord lesion
A harmless proliferation of blood vessels which form a tumor-like mass of blood filled spaces which can occur anywhere in the body and is present at birth or develops soon after. It occurs in deeper layers of the skin as opposed to the top skin layers and the color may vary according to the depth of the lesion. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Cavernous hemangioma
Low sperm quality