Physical therapy and recovery after quadriplegia

Physicaltherapy and recovery after quadriplegia


Physicaltherapy and recovery after quadriplegia

Adescription of quadriplegia

Quadriplegiais also called Tetraplegia. It entails paralysis due to injury, orillness in people resulting in a total, or partial loss to use thetorso, and the limbs. The loss is both motor and sensory, meaningthat both control and sensation are lost(Duttarer&amp Edberg, 2013).The term does not include disorders as a result of damages to theperipheral nerves, or brachial&nbspplexus&nbsplesions&nbspoutsidethe spinal cord.Quadriplegic&nbsppatientsare subjected to numbness and immobility problems.

Testsused to diagnose quadriplegia

Diagnosisentails finding out the extent to which the spinal cord is damaged.The diagnosis can be made by taking images of the bodily structureswith the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). It makes use of computersand magnetic waves to make two, or three-dimensional pictures of thespine. It aims to look for the internal injuries in the spinethat could lead to complications associated with quadriplegia likelossof bowel and bladder control, and the pain in the legs, arms, andback. The nerve conduction study is also carried out to test theharm to the peripheral nervous system.Flat metal electrodes are attached to the skin with a paste. Over thenerve, an electrode that emits shock is placed. An electrode, whichrecords pulses is placed over the muscles, and then controlled by thenerve. The electrical pulses enter the nerve, and the time, which themuscle will take to contract is recorded. The comparison is then madeby carrying out a study on the nerves, on the other body side.

Commontreatments for quadriplegia


Itis the treatment of the injury in the spinal cord, or any conditionleading to the problem. Special equipment will be used to immobilisethe patient, to prevent further injury to the spinal cord. Themedical practitioners will aim to make the blood pressure and heartrate steady(Whiteneck,2014).Surgery may be carried out, to reduce the pressure on the spine fromforeign objects and bone fragments.


Itinvolves training the patient on how to deal with their newlimitations. A passive physical therapy is given to prevent theatrophyingof muscles. The arms and legs of the patient are manipulated bytherapists to enhance the circulation, and maintain the tone of themuscles(Whiteneck,2014).However, the electrodes that stimulate the muscle of the patient arenow in use to give an optimal workout.

Thecourse of quadriplegia and its prognosis

Delayeddiagnosis of the cervical spine injury has detrimental effects onpatients. Nearly five percent of the fractures go unnoticed, andalmost two-thirds of the patients suffer from additional spinal corddamage (Miller&amp Bachrach, 2015).In 30% of cases with delayed diagnosis, the spine injury is seen todevelop to neurological deficits that are permanent. A completeparalysis from the neck downwards can be due to great cervicalinjuries. Quadriplegia, in its advanced stage calls for a regularassistance, and care in the daily activities. Tetraplegics, in theirlow-level, have the ability to live independently. The lifeexpectancy for quadriplegia is normal, and comprises the outstandingyears of their life.

Asummary of a BMJ Case Report published in 2015 that adds knowledgeabout quadriplegia

Accordingto WHO, about 190 million people above fifteen years live withquadriplegia. The qualities and modes of disability vary depending onincome, the health system, and culture. Quadriplegia involvesphysical and emotional problems that require much care from thehealth systems(Litwak&amp Safadi, 2015).The case study inspects the care of quadriplegic in Druze village inGolan, and seeks to analyse the geographic, economic, andsociocultural characteristics of care.Glossary Atrophying-Itis the complete, or partial wasting away of body muscles, experiencedwhen people are restricted in movement when hospitalised.Brachial&nbspplexus&nbsplesions-Itis the infection of the network of nerves that directs signals fromthe spine to the arm, shoulder and hand.Neurological-Theseis the infection of the spine, brain, and the nerves that link them.Peripheralnerves-Theyare a network of 43 pairs of sensory&nbspandmotor nerves&nbspthatlink the spinal cord, and the brain to the rest of the body.Prognosis-Theprobable development of a disease.References

Duttarer,J. &amp Edberg, E. (2013). Quadriplegia after spinal cord injury.Thorofare, N.J.: C.B. Slack.

Litwak,B. &amp Safadi, W. (2015). Lifestyle changes of a family caring fora 25-year-old quadriplegic man after delayed spinal cord infarction.Case Reports, 2015(jun08 1),bcr2015211100-bcr2015211100.

Miller,F. &amp Bachrach, S. (2015). Cerebral palsy. Baltimore: JohnsHopkins University Press.

Whiteneck,G. (2014). The Management of high quadriplegia. New York,N.Y.: Demos.