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definition : paraplegia

Paraplegia is an impairment in motor or sensory function of the lower extremities. The word comes from Ionic Greek παραπληγίη "half-striking". It is usually caused by spinal cord injury or a congenital condition that affects the neural (brain) elements of the spinal canal. The area of the spinal canal that is affected in paraplegia is either the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral regions. Common victims of this impairment are veterans or members of the armed forces. If four limbs are affected by paralysis, tetraplegia or quadriplegia is the correct term. If only one limb is affected, the correct term is monoplegia.

Spastic paraplegia is a form of paraplegia defined by spasticity of the affected muscles, rather than flaccid paralysis.

The American Spinal Injury Association classifies spinal cord injury severity. ASIA A being the complete loss of sensory function and motor skills below the injury. ASIA B is having some sensory function below the injury, but no motor function. ASIA C some motor function below level of injury, but half the muscles cannot move against gravity. ASIA D, more than half of the muscles below the level of injury can move against gravity. ASIA E which is the restoration of all neurologic function.

==Treatment== Individuals with paraplegia can range in their level of disability, requiring treatments to vary from case to case. From a rehabilitation standpoint, the most important factor is to gain as much functionality and independence back as possible. Physiotherapists spend many hours within a rehabilitation setting working on strength, range of motion/stretching and transfer skills. Wheelchair mobility is also an important skill to learn. Most paraplegics will be dependent on a wheelchair as a mode of transportation. Thus it is extremely important to teach them the basic skills to gain their independence. Activities of daily living (ADLs) can be quite challenging at first for those with a spinal cord injury (SCI). With the aid of physiotherapists and occupational therapists, individuals with an SCI can learn new skills and adapt previous ones to maximize independence, often living independently within the community.

===Regeneration of the spinal cord===

Olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC) have been transplanted with success into the spinal cord of Polish man named Darek Fidyka, who was the victim of a knife attack that left him paraplegic in 2010.

==See also== * Adapted automobile * Cauda equina syndrome * Hemiplegia * Quadriplegia * Hughes-Stovin syndrome * Regeneration in humans * The Body Silent * Sexuality after spinal cord injury * Spinal cord injury research


Category:Cerebral palsy and other paralytic syndromes Category:Neurotrauma

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