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A 47-year-old member asked:

How could a spinal cord injury affect the musculoskeletal system and the integumentary system?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michele Arnold
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 22 years experience
Weakness, numbness: The paralysis from spinal cord injury causes varying degrees of weakness and muscle loss (atrophy), depending on the severity of the injury. There may also be spasticity or tightness of the muscles, putting a person at risk of contractures (joint rigidity). Numbness from spinal cord injury places a person at risk of developing pressure sores-- pressure relief is paramount for prevention.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
Varies depending on : The degree of spinal cord injury leading to wasting or atrophy of muscle mass to joint contractures and even brittle or osteoporotic bones leading to fractures. In terms of the skin, loss of sensation can lead to development of ulcers that can lead to infections locally and to bone or even sepsis with a spread through the blood stream.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016
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